SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Unified School District will welcome most of their students back to campus Monday, a first since the coronavirus pandemic started more than a year ago.
"I think for a lot of our educators and students it's going to feel like the first day of school," said Kisha Borden, president of the San Diego Education Association.
As a leader of the teachers union, Borden said she's been working closely with teachers and SDUSD with safety top of mind.
She said three things needed to happen to allow students back on campus at this capacity:
"The biggest thing was getting our community infection rates down," Borden said. "The second thing was making sure that all of the educators who wanted to be vaccinated had the opportunity to be vaccinated before going back to the classroom."
"Third were all the safety mitigations and protocols being put in place in every school site," she added.
Those measures include spacing desks 5 to 6 feet apart, air filters, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment for teachers and students.
Borden said some students have been on campus since October, but on Monday every student at every grade level will be welcomed back if they feel comfortable.
"We don't want to see outbreaks, we've worked really hard to make sure there's that stability." Borden said she doesn't want to slip backward and they are all relying on the community to continue taking precautions to keep COVID cases low in the county.
Borden said they created a testing site where families can get tested for the coronavirus once every two weeks to ensure everyone is healthy.
"We've had families devastated by this virus in the past year. We know of kids who have lost parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and it's heartbreaking. We do not want any of that to happen," Borden said.
Borden said they have procedures in place should an outbreak occur. She said a classroom would shift to online learning if 2 or more cases could be traced back to the classroom within a 14-day period. A school would shift to online learning if 2 or more cohorts or classes had been quarantined or 5% of all students and staff had tested positive (within a 14-day period). An entire district would close if 25% of the schools had closed.