San Diego Office of Education releases guidance to reopen schools

Will schools remain closed in the fall? Dr. Fauci thinks schools can reopen this fall
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 18:44:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Most school districts in San Diego County are still figuring out how to reopen classrooms in the fall.

On Wednesday, the Office of Education released new guidance on how districts and charter schools can do that safely.

They put out comprehensive guidance that includes recommendations to alter many aspects of everyday life for parents, students, and teachers. It includes symptom screening, altering classroom layouts to support physical distancing. They also recommend frequently cleaning common areas, wearing face coverings, and restricting visitor access.

RELATED: San Diego Unified School District approves fall reopening plan

Music Watson says they've had to rethink every possible scenario.

"Recommendations about not using water fountains because of the multiple touches there, or about spacing desks as far apart as practicable so that you can have distancing," said Watson, Chief of Staff with the Office of Education.

On Tuesday, the San Diego Unified District approved their reopening plan. It would allow parents to decide whether or not to send their kids back to campus or continue online learning at home.

RELATED: San Diego schools allowed to hold on-campus classes under new rules

But, most districts we reached out to are still working on their plans.

The Grossmont Union High School District says they're currently conducting input sessions with focus groups. They tell ABC 10News they hope to have a plan in place for board approval by early to mid-July.

The Poway Unified School District says they'll have a plan by June 25. Their superintendent released survey results with parents, showing 59% of families want students to return to campus full-time. Meanwhile, 41% say they would prefer a blended or virtual learning option to continue.

RELATED: State provides school guidance to reopen, up to local districts to implement

The Escondido Union High School District says they hope to release a plan by June 30.

The Sweetwater Union High School District is hosting a virtual town hall on June 18 where parents can give input on what changes they hope to see.

For 42 districts and more than 100 charter schools in San Diego County, the next school year will look very different.

"Have a way of keeping records so that if someone ends up testing positive you can do the contact tracing to be able to go back and figure out with whom they've had contact," said Watson. "We really wanted to plan for every eventually, every possibility so that schools can be prepared."

The Office of Education also recommends all schools keep the option of distance learning for families who prefer it.