CHULA VISTA (KGTV) -- The Sweetwater Unified High School District announced a potential return to campus for a small number of its 42,000 students as San Diego County COVID-19 case rates continue to decline.
In a letter to SUHSD families, interim superintendent Moises Aguirre said the district is making plans to move into Stage II of its transition to in-person hybrid instruction.
According to the district's Stage II model, up to 10% of students could return to its 25 campuses, and student selections for in-person instruction are based on the greatest need.
"You may have received a survey regarding in-person instruction potentially beginning April 12, 2021," said Aguirre. "The exact nature of instruction schools will offer is dependent on the number of families who responded with plans to return in person."
In addition to crediting the county's overall lower case rates as a reason for preparing the district's re-opening phase, Aguirre also said the district's educators "have had an opportunity to be vaccinated." Its unclear if all district staff that will be on campus with students have received the vaccination.
Meanwhile, the South Bay continues to be one of the county's hardest hit areas.
Chula Vista, the second largest city in San Diego County, has reported over 28,000 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. But the number of daily positive cases is down dramatically to 21 as of March 13 --- a significant drop since the city reported over 400 new cases on January 1 and 2 of this year.
The South Bay's elementary schools are also targeting a April 12 launch of its own "in-person, hybrid instructional model." Chula Vista Elementary School District said Wednesday outlined a hybrid model consisting of half-day instruction in an a.m./p.m. format Mon.-Thurs., with Fridays reserved for distance learning.
"All of the approximately 4,700 District employees (including substitutes) were eligible to receive the vaccine. The overwhelming majority will be fully vaccinated prior to students’ return," CVESD officials said.
SUHSD's announcement comes as San Diego County transitions into the less restrictive Red Tier on California's coronavirus reopening road map.
The state confirmed the move Tuesday when it reported the county's new daily COVID case rate was 6.8 per 100,000 population, the second consecutive week with a sub-10 per 100,000 number, allowing for the shift to the red tier. The rate last week was 8.8 per 100,000 residents.