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San Diego students inch closer to getting back on campus

Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 20:13:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County schools are one step closer to bringing students back to campus. If we get off the state’s watchlist Friday, kids would be allowed back in-person in as soon as two weeks.

But, some districts tell ABC 10News they would still need more time.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher hinted at a victory for the county Thursday afternoon.

“Yesterday we were below the state guidance, today we’re below the state guidance,” said Fletcher. “Tomorrow if we’re below the state guidance that will remove us from the state monitoring list.”

RELATED: San Diego County case rate under watch list threshold for second straight day

Those metrics are based on having fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks.

If we can stay off the watch list for 14 days in a row after being removed from the state's list, students will be allowed back on school campuses.

But, that doesn’t mean it will happen right away.

“All of us have been watching those numbers,” said Theresa Kemper, Superintendent at Grossmont Union High School District. “When it finally went under 100, there’s a celebration because we look forward to getting kids back.”

RELATED: Private school in Spring Valley to reopen with in-person learning

Kemper says they plan to give parents and teachers a two-week notice before they would return in-person.

“Classrooms are already ready to go, but it’s all the other services we provide,” said Kemper. “Are the buses ready to go? Food service?”

For Cajon Valley Union Schools, the district says they successfully welcomed 6,000 students to 27 of their campuses for summer programs. Social distancing and mask requirements were in place. They tell us over the six-week period they did not have a single case of COVID-19.

Superintendent David Miyashiro says even if the county can welcome students back, they would still need time to prepare.

“To say we’d be able to open right away, I don’t feel comfortable with that,” said Miyashiro. “The short answer is as soon as possible starting with our most vulnerable students.”

San Diego Unified says they’re using their own criteria that goes beyond the state standards. It calls for rigorous contact tracing before they’ll reopen in-person.

Escondido Union High School District starts a fully virtual school year on Aug. 25. They tell ABC 10News they’ll continue online learning through the first grading period that ends on Sept. 25. They say they’ll reassess current conditions after that.