SDUSD announces plans for a full reopening based on vaccines, lower case rates

San Diego Unified School District
Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 21:45:00-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- There are two critical conditions impacting when the San Diego Unified School District will reopen schools for in-person instruction: the spread of the virus and the rollout of the vaccine for teachers and staff.

The district began the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 31 with a distance learning program for its students.

District leaders agreed to continue working together to ensure all necessary safety measures are in place on every campus. While the timeline is still fluid, the plan follows a downward trend in COVID cases. As cases decrease, they’ll move on to the next phase of repoening.

School leaders are re-engaging with UC San Diego health experts to guide their work to reach a collaborative formal agreement to ensure the safety of students, staff and the community.

SDUSD and the San Diego Education Association released a joint statement:

"We will continue to follow the science and take all measures to protect our community from this deadly disease. As many families have already begun to make plans for the fall, we also want to be clear that we are committed to returning to in-person learning in the fall with an online option still available to any families who do not feel comfortable coming on campus. We feel confident making that commitment, because we are confident the new Biden Administration is doing everything possible to vaccinate our workforce and provide the necessary resources for schools to operate safely. For those who continue to worry about our ability to operate safely in the middle of this pandemic, we have the latest safety measures in place in every school, and our testing program is expanding rapidly. We will not cut corners on safety, and our widespread testing program should give everyone confidence in our commitment to remain vigilant against the spread of the COVID-19 virus."

The district says they want California leaders to move more quickly on the vaccine rollout for teachers. While district leaders have also said lower case rates are critical to reopening safely, they plan to continue following research on how vaccine proliferation impacts the spread of the virus.

The framework announced Thursday shows that in-person reopening for the fall is a shared commitment by both district leaders and educators, and could lead to a fuller reopening of some schools this year depending on the pace of the vaccine rollout and case-rates reductions.