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San Dieguito School District Board Reverses Decision To Reopen In January

San Dieguito Union High School District's main office in Encinitas. Dec. 28, ...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: San Dieguito Union High School District's main office in Encinitas. Dec. 28, 2020

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.

Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

The school board rescinded that plan on Monday in a 4-to-1 vote after the teachers union sued the district, arguing that it could not reopen schools while the county was still in the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.

RELATD: Vaccinated Teachers Won’t Mean Automatic School Reopenings In San Diego County

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.

RELATED: English Learners Are Falling Further Behind In The Virtual Classroom

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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San Dieguito School District Board voted to step away from their plans to bring students back to school in January. Meanwhile, San Diego awaits to hear today if stay-at-homes orders will be extended. Also, CVS pharmacy is joining the efforts to vaccinate California’s nursing homes.

Aired: December 29, 2020 | Transcript

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Photo of Joe Hong

Joe Hong
Education Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an education reporter, I'm always looking for stories about learning. My favorite education stories put a student's face on bigger policy issues. I regularly sift through enrollment data, test scores and school budgets, but telling student-centered stories is my top priority.

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