Poway Unified middle, high school students return to campus


POWAY, Calif. — Middle and high school students in the Poway Unified School District are expected to head back to classrooms on Monday.

It comes after a judge sided with a group of North County parents and overturned the state’s denial of the district’s reopening plans. An order issued by San Diego Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland prohibits the state from enforcing provisions of its January framework for reopening schools.

The ruling cleared the way for Poway Unified middle and high school students to head back to classes for two days of in-person learning per week.

“They’re excited,” parent Carly Wheeler said. “They’re nervous, but there aren’t a lot of kiddos back yet. So in some of the classes, there may only be five people inside of a classroom. The rest virtually on a computer.”

Wheeler has a middle school student and is optimistic about schools reopening.

“Great way to sort of re-engage her in what the world is like — meaning getting up, being on a routine, getting out of the house,” Wheeler said. “Two days a week feels like a great way to ease into it. Particularly since we are close to the end of the year, but quite frankly, we’re ready for them to be back full-time.”

She said she hopes this is the first step in getting students back to in-person learning full-time.

“I’m just hopeful that this is just one step in the right direction, and it gets a little bit more compelling for these teenagers to actually interact with teachers, who are there personally in the room,” Wheeler said.

The district says it has added filtration devices, ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and mask requirements to keep students and staff safe.

The district also says it has contact tracing and quarantine protocols ready, and that staff got access to vaccinations.

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