CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) – The Chula Vista Elementary School District’s administration team held a virtual meeting Friday morning that provided families with details on the district’s potential reopening plan.
District officials said their plan is to ease students back in and give families the option to continue to learn virtually, on campus, or through a hybrid program.
The first four weeks of the 2020-21 school year, scheduled to begin Aug. 31, will be online. After that period of distance learning, the district will assess the situation; allowing for a possible return to in-class instruction will depend on the level of active coronavirus cases in San Diego County.
Superintendent Dr. Francisco Escobedo said a lot of prep work and planning has gone into the district's plan to reopen.
During Friday’s meeting, he said, “We want our children to come back because we want in-person instruction. We believe it’s the best type of instruction there is, but we need to come back in a safe manner.”
When students do make their return to school, campuses will look very different. The district spent millions of dollars on safety measures, including large sensors that take temperature and dispense sanitizer, large signs, personal protective equipment, and plexiglass dividers.
"We’ll have signage throughout the school depicting the type of behaviors we expect,” Escobedo added.
According to Escobedo, the district has partnered with local company Kahala Bioscience to help conduct routine COVID-19 testing and identify ways to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Escobedo said students will return when the county is at a low to medium risk for COVID-19, and when they do, only half of the students will be allowed back on campus with priority for those in K-3 grades.
While digital learning is in place for the first few weeks of the school year, campuses will be used for child care through the YMCA, so teachers can utilize that service while in class.
In preparation for digital learning, the district is still offering laptops to those who need them. The district has also worked with the city to disperse over 400 internet hotspots throughout Chula Vista.
The district also wants parents to provide feedback during the digital learning period so they can access what's working and not working and relay that information to families.