San Dieguito School District Board Reverses Decision To Reopen In January
Monday, December 28, 2020
Photo by Roland Lizarondo
One of the few San Diego County school districts that had scheduled a January reopening is now putting those plans on hold after its teachers union filed a lawsuit alleging district officials were not abiding by state guidelines for resuming in-person learning.
Earlier this month, the San Dieguito Union High School District unveiled its ambitious reopening plan to allow students to return to campus part-time starting Jan. 4th and full-time starting Jan. 27th.
The school board rescinded that plan on Monday in a 4-to-1 vote after the teachers union sued the district, arguing that it could not reopen schools while the county was still in the state’s most restrictive purple tier for COVID-19 cases.
During Monday’s special meeting, board member Katrina Young said the decision was indicative of the balancing act school officials have had to perform throughout the pandemic.
“There’s some parents that are fearful that their kids aren’t thriving right now and that absolutely has to be acknowledged,” Young said. “There’s other parents that are fearful that this is not the right time to open campuses, and that also has to be acknowledged.”
Board member Michael Allman, who cast the only dissenting vote, criticized the board for backing off after the legal threats from the teachers union.
“Since the union doesn’t like it they just file a lawsuit and we cave to them,” he said during the meeting. “I just don’t think it’s right to reinforce that behavior.”
San Dieguito has been offering some in-person instruction to vulnerable students. According to guidance from the state, the district can continue offering these limited services but cannot expand to a more comprehensive reopening while the county remains in the purple tier.
Board members urged parents whose students are struggling to reach out to their schools to see if they qualify for limited in-person instruction.
“If your student is struggling, it is imperative that you reach out to your student’s teacher and counselor,” said board member Melisse Mossy. “Your student should not be struggling. That is not OK with any of us.”
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