By Ellis Sondrup
CCSD has announced a plan to return to in-person schooling during this school year. On February 24th, superintendent Jesus Jara announced a plan that would put high school students back into the classroom in a hybrid model on March 22. The same plan included a return for high school sports and performing arts.
In January, the CCSD Board of Trustees met over video call to discuss and vote on a return to in-person schooling. In a 7-0 vote, the board approved a plan that would allow small groups of students back on campus, both by invitation from schools and some by choice. However the “plan” did not include a timeline of when kids would be able to return or who would be able to return.
This week those specifics were outlined. On March 1st, Pre-K through third grade students will return to the classroom under a hybrid instruction model, followed by 6th, 9th and 12th grade students on March 22nd. Following spring break, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th grade students will return, still under a hybrid model with Pre-K through 5th grade students returning to full in-person learning on April 6th.
“Reopening schools, bringing back staff and students, and continuing distance education model requires a lot of logistics and consideration,” said Superintendent Jara in an email to parents Thursday. “I ask for your patience as I continue to work with the Board of School Trustees to bring back all students and staff to face-to-face instruction safely.”
The district also outlined a plan for athletics to begin, with all spring sport practices to begin April 3rd and competition beginning April 16th. Fall sports will be given an intramural season, which includes a 20-day window of practices and intramural competitions. Football will begin April 5th and run until May 1st while the other fall sports will run May 3rd to May 22nd. No spectators will be allowed at any of these events, and all school athletics must follow the guidelines put in place by CCSD, the NIAA, the state and the CDC.
In an effort to make teachers feel more comfortable teaching in the classroom preceding this return to school, Superintendent Jesus Jara pushed to make a covid vaccine available to teachers, which it has been for the past month. Many teachers are now receiving their second dose of the vaccine and are looking forward to teaching in the classroom once more.
“At this time, I’m planning on returning to school. I am concerned about everyone’s safety, so that is an important consideration as well,” said Dr. Allard, an English teacher at Coronado. “I have some great students this year, and I’m looking forward to possibly returning to school.”
There has been push back from parents across CCSD. Many parent groups have formed out of concern for their children, including the Facebook groups Let Them Play, pushing for sports to be allowed in the 2020-2021 school year and All Kids Back In School By August, pushing for a full return to in-person schooling by next school year. Before the Board of Trustees met on February 25th to vote on the plan to return, parents and students from across the valley protested the slowness of the decision of the school board, calling for all students to return to the classroom for full time learning.
“We are putting pressure on CCSD to commit to full-time and in-person learning for all students by August 2021,” said Jenny Lynn Eddington, a parent who is leading the push back against the school district’s decisions. “I started the Facebook group All Kids Back In School August-CCSD to spread awareness of CCSD’s failure to have a plan and to expose the impact that school closures have had on kids.”
The transition plan for a return to hybrid schooling, as detailed late in 2020 can be found here.