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Councilmember Cate proposes changes to SDUSD's back-to-school plan

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 18:24:41-04

KGTV (San Diego)---Frank Powell says distance learning has been especially hard on his daughter Angelina, who has cerebral palsy.

"She cannot learn just giving her an iPad and me teaching her, she has to have one on one contact with a teacher that knows what they're doing," he explained.

He believes that for his family the benefits of in-person instruction outweigh the risks during the pandemic.

Which is why he was encouraged to hear about San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate's plan to give SDUSD families more options for how kids are taught during the upcoming school year.

A statement released by Cate Tuesday reads in part, "As a father myself, I understand the struggle families are going through right now with ensuring their children are receiving a quality education."

The plan includes:

  • Offering waivers for in-person instruction
  • Creating open-air classrooms
  • Implementing staggered start times
  • and providing more resources and financial support for parents who choose to keep their kids home.

Although Governor Newsom has said schools can't reopen until the county has been off the state's watchlist for 14 days, there is an option for districts to apply for an exemption that could be granted by county health officials. The exemption only applies to elementary schools.

Whether it's through an exemption or other means, parents like Powell say they just want the option to choose. "There's no reason why a classroom can't be adjusted to accommodate the students. So, yes, I would send her and she can wear a mask, she's fine.