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75% of San Diego's K-12 students are learning virtually

Up from 68% last month
Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 21:09:20-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — New data released by the San Diego County Office of Education show three-fourths of all K-12 students in the County are now studying online and experts believe that number will increase by the start of the new year.

Poway parent, Caroline Epps, told her three children recently that they would be going back to virtual learning.

"I could tell they were disappointed," Epps said. "It's been nice having them there even though it's been such a short time. It's going to be a little difficult having them at home the whole day again."

Poway Unified is one of the few school districts that are still offering modified in-person instruction, only to elementary students. But earlier this week, the district announced they would be recommending all students to revert to distance learning after winter break.

"My oldest will have the most difficult time with that because her assignments are more complex," Epps said.

The decision comes after another surge in COVID-19 cases. Bob Mueller with the County Office of Education says 75% of K-12 students are now learning remotely, up from 68% last month.

"We are seeing the impact of gatherings for Thanksgiving," Mueller said. "It's likely that we will see the surge deepen for a time as we feel the impact of gatherings for the December holidays."

School staff getting sick or having to quarantine are resulting in a serious staffing shortage.

"We are seeing unprecedented demand for substitutes," Mueller said. We need more people to work in those roles than we've ever needed before."

Epps says while it is not ideal, she understands the situation. So she and her children will have to adapt and overcome.

"I don't think anyone wants the school year to be the way it has been," Epps said. "I feel like we have to take it with a grain of salt and just not get too worked up and not too stressed out about it."

Poway Unified School District plans to return to on-campus learning by January 19, 2021.