District: Parents still split on whether kids return to Carlsbad schools

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CARLSBAD, Calif. – The Carlsbad Unified School District once again considered whether students should return for in-person learning in their Wednesday evening board meeting — a fiercely debated issue across the county.

Most recently in the district, some elementary students started to go on campus for two half-days each week, while middle and high school level students remain full-time distance-learning. The board was set to reconsider options for the higher grade levels in January. 

Dozens called in to the virtual district board meeting Wednesday, with comments ranging from applauding the board for its caution to criticism of the board for not offering more families the option to return.

The district also recently surveyed families, asking who would be in favor of their students returning to school for full days, five days a week before January — even if the distance between students is not always six feet. Fifty-four percent of elementary families responded “yes,” 48% of middle school and 50% of high school families.

The district reported more than 4,500 parents responded to that survey, demonstrating the district is still pretty split down the middle.

In the end Wednesday, the board discussed options late into the evening hours but decided to postpone any official updates on in-person learning details or timelines.

They did spend a lot of time discussing mitigation strategies, however, including options such as symptom screening, facial coverings, hand washing and sanitizing, physical distancing, keeping kids in the same groups all day, reducing class sizes, plexiglass or other barriers, and ventilation or filtration systems.

Administrators say they are hoping to implement as many strategies as possible when considering bringing more students back on campus. 

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