SDUSD ratifies new COVID safety protocol agreement a week before school reopens

Agreement made between District and Union
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 20:38:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Tuesday evening, the San Diego Unified School District board will ratify the COVID safety agreement it reached with the San Diego Education Association.

"We've adopted really, the highest health and safety standards we believe of any school district in the nation," District Board president Richard Barrera said.

According to Barrera, 92% of union members voted for the agreement, which includes:

  • All staff having full access to the COVID vaccine
  • The county being out of the purple tier
  • Everyone having access to masks and PPE
  • Campuses having clear social distancing signage
  • Every single classroom having an air quality monitor and proper ventilation

"In some cases, that meant installing high caliber filters into the air conditioning system. In some cases, it's buying portable filters. Some cases where classrooms have a lot of natural circulation, it's opening windows and doors," Barrera explained.

Starting Monday, April 12, 2021, about half of the district's students or 100,000 kids will return to campus. Of that, 3/4 of the students will be back four days a week, and the rest for two days.

Elementary school students will have five hours of in-class instruction. Middle and high school students will have four hours of classroom instruction a day. All students will have lunchtimes, staggered breaks, and various after-school activities.

"We definitely will be making time for physical and mental health breaks for students," Barrera said.

Barrera said this is all made possible by the three federal stimulus packages totaling over $550 million. This also allows the district to expand summer school programs for the next two years and provide free COVID testing for students at schools.

"Testing is available. It's free. It's easy. It's noninvasive," Barrera said. "But it is extremely important in keeping your students and all other students safe on campus.

At this point, testing is not mandatory. But the district highly recommends parents of elementary age students to have their children tested every two weeks, and middle and high school students to test every week.

ABC 10News reached out to San Diego Education Association [union] for this story. We never heard back.