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I Had A Lot More Downtime’: City Heights Parents React To School Reopening

Ibarra Middle School in City Heights on April 13, 2020.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: Ibarra Middle School in City Heights on April 13, 2020.

Carlos Brown dropped his son off on Tuesday morning at Ibarra Elementary School in City Heights. For him, the first day of school on Monday was bittersweet. He was happy to see his son back in school and among friends, but already missed him being around.

“It was very weird. Because I’m used to going back and forth, checking on him, feeding him and overall interacting with him,” he said. “It was strange, but I had a lot more downtime.”

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

Maria Eva was dropping off her six-year-old grandson. Without her grandson at home, she says she still kept busy. She was just happy to see her grandson enjoying being back in school.

“Oh yes, he enjoyed himself,” she told KPBS in Spanish. “He loves to come here, they treat him very well.”

RELATED: Chula Vista School District Welcomes Students Back To Campus

Reported by Max Rivlin-Nadler

She said her grandson raved about the activities he got to do with his classmates, but most of all just enjoyed seeing his teacher in person.

“We are finally back,” said MC Patton, the school’s principal. “We had about 250 kids on campus yesterday, and protocol — all the distancing, all the signage — the kids are great at it.

Patton says that in a diverse community like City Heights, getting kids back out and interacting with other children from different backgrounds and cultures is incredibly important.

“This is an amazing community, it has so much to offer, in the morning it looks like the United Nations here. A zoom meeting here looks like the UN,” she said. “We’ve got five languages spoken and being interpreted, people know this is their home, and I could see their smiles through the masks, yesterday, it was easy to see.”

For the parents and teachers at Ibarra Elementary School just the sight of kids on a socially distanced playground had them smiling as well.

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Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Speak City Heights Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover City Heights, a neighborhood at the intersection of immigration, gentrification, and neighborhood-led health care initiatives. I'm interested in how this unique neighborhood deals with economic inequality during an unprecedented global health crisis.

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