NewsLocal NewsNorth County News


Vista Unified postpones in-person reopening of two high schools over Halloween parties

Posted at 7:19 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 02:28:56-05

(KGTV) — Vista Unified School District is postponing the in-person reopening of two high schools after learning that hundreds of students attended at least two Halloween parties last month.

A letter from district and school officials to parents said that students from Vista High School and Mission Vista High School attended two large parties over the weekend and didn't practice social distancing or mask requirements.

Because of the reported parties, VUSD said it will reschedule the reopening of in-person classes at both schools until Monday, Nov. 16. Mission Vista High was scheduled to resume in-person classes on Nov. 9, and Vista High was set to do the same on Nov. 12.

RELATED: Several Vista Unified schools back to online learning after positive COVID-19 cases reported

"At this time, we have legitimate concerns about the health and safety of the students who attended these large Halloween gatherings and the safety of all students and staff members if they return to in-person learning as scheduled..." the district's letter read.

Officials urged parents to have their children tested for COVID-19 if they attended either party.

Since Sept. 8, the district has reported 25 coronavirus cases among students and staff at its schools, including three cases at Vista High and two cases at Mission Vista.

Vista Unified Superintendent Dr. Matthew Doyle said in a community update that the county is working with officials to go over any concerns and progress to resume in-person learning:

"Just this week, our team met with Dr. Wilma Wooten and her team to discuss our progress, go over concerns that some of our staff and parents have had, and identify solutions to be implemented.

We spent much time discussing the main concern about social distancing. While establishing a six-foot distance between all people, students, and staff, is optimal, there are many instances where this is not practicable given the constraints of our learning model. Dr. Wooten informed us that if we are not able to maintain six feet between students, then we should consider other forms of separation to mediate the potential for spread. One example shared was to make use of desk barriers or study carrels. Another measure is the configuration of the desks and tables. A third measure was to make strategic use of spaces just outside of the classroom for some or all of the students.

All of our school administrators are working with their respective teams to see how these recommendations could be implemented on each campus. This will require our staff to make consistent use of personal protective equipment like desk and table barriers and maximizing the configuration of desks in the classroom. We are also bringing educators and staff together to discuss the successes and challenges of the Vista Classic learning mode."