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Sweetwater Union High School District announces school year plan amid pandemic

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 09:26:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Sweetwater Union High School District announced their plans for the 2020-2021 school year Thursday night to the board and community.

Due to a rise in coronavirus cases and state restrictions classes will be completely virtual from Aug. 3-Oct. 2.

Students will have a block schedule, which means no change for many students. They will have three classes a day with 30-45 minutes of face time with their teacher and 45-60 minutes of class spent as independent study.

The district said this provides flexibility to both teachers and students.

The district said there will be graded assignments and tests, but teachers voiced their opinion saying it is hard to monitor whether students are cheating.

The district set three checkpoints to determine if the district will remain virtual throughout the entire school year. Those dates are September 21, November 30 and March 1. These dates allow the district to plan for the future, coordinating buses and teacher's needs.

Some parents aren't comfortable with the idea of going back to campus anytime soon.

"I'm feeling like they need to study it more," said Dr. Marie Zhivago said. Her incoming senior and freshman students have asthma, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"I don't want my kids to be guinea pigs. I don't want them to be the test," Zhivago said.

She thinks if students go back to school too early there could be another wave of cases, adding, "I'm not ready to sacrifice one child for that, one death, no way."

The district said when they're allowed to bring children back to campus there will be strict guidelines for social distancing, masks and sanitation.

The district is offering a separate virtual learning opportunity for up to 360 families, called Launch Academy.

The district said students are being connected with equipment to get them online and have resources available for students, teachers and counselors.

Zhivago said these investments will pay dividends, telling ABC 10News, "I think they should put the funding into distance learning because this is definitely going to happen again."

The board will vote Monday on the proposed plans.