SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As the holidays are nearing an end, students are looking to return back to school. Governor Newsom announced last week that students should be tested before coming back to in-person learning, providing 6 million test kits across the state.
Across the state, those 16 and older will need to provide their proof of vaccination before coming to school. Some students in San Diego county, are being asked to test twice, on New Years Eve and on the first day of school, before returning to the classroom.
Across the county, students in the spring will be required to wear masks at all times indoors.
Districts like Lemon Grove will be providing weekly testing to students, as well as various testing locations to families.
“We are looking at-home test kits that will be made available to families and their children, our students," Dr. Javier Ayala, a board member with the Lemon Grove School District, said.
The San Diego Unified School District said they are working to make vaccinations accessible for all.
“We now have a mobile clinic," Richard Barrera with the SDUSD School Board, said. "And we try to get that mobile clinic to the schools where we have the highest rates of unvaccinated students, and that will be there all month in January.”
Districts like Fallbrook, National, Vista Unified and Poway Unified, are also encouraging vaccines. The reason is that California students will soon become required in 2022, to be fully vaccinated.
“It’s the best way to keep our schools open," Barrera said. "It’s the best way to keep people healthy and safe. So we very much encourage everybody to take advantage of the opportunities, five and up to get vaccinated.”
School districts will each receive county reports throughout the spring semester, that show the percentage of staff and students that are vaccinated.
“As you know the situations changing," Dr. Ayala said. "I mean literally a month or two months ago we thought it was a different world and now we are in a different situation. But I know our district leadership has their finger on the pulse and will be communicating that information to the public.”
Besides testing and vaccines, school districts are monitoring the Omicron surge. Barrera said he expects few students the first week and hopes that more return at the end of January.
“We are in this situation where we have been before, we have been many times, this is a roller coaster," Barrera said. "Hopefully what we can do is focus on educating our kids, kids getting meaningful experiences, extracurricular, everything they get out of school. But we have to take this time right now, very seriously.”
Districts like Alpine, which have created what they call 'Alpine Choice Academy'. In a letter released Nov. 22, the district said:
"We have designed the Alpine Choice Academy (ACA) to ensure we serve those students who are not vaccinated. This unique program is the first of its kind designed to provide in-person learning to students who would not be able to attend school on campus if not vaccinated. We will be sharing more details about ACA in the near future including surveying our parents about the next school year to ensure we continue to capture the thoughts of all of our families."
On Dec. 7, the Cajon Valley School District updated a slideshow they have on their website to show parents and students proper guidance on returning to campus and what to do if they believe they are positive.
Del Mar School District's Superintendent released this notice on their website:
The District’s health and safety protocols include masking for all students indoors, stable groupings, increased ventilation and hand hygiene. As an alternative learning option, students whose health is at risk due to a medical concern related to COVID-19 may enroll in independent study.
On Dec. 14, Fallbrook's Superintendent posted this on the district's website :
Current district protocols on mask-wearing require that all employees and students wear masks while indoors when students are present. The new guidelines require all employees and students to wear masks while indoors at all times regardless of vaccination status or student presence. These protocols apply to school activities.
With the holiday season approaching, we know families may be planning to travel out of the state. Please make note of the recommendation to get tested upon returning and continue to follow other mitigation measures we’ve practiced throughout the pandemic like wearing a mask, washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick.