Poway Unified sets sights on mid-March return to classroom

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO – The Poway Unified School District plans to reopen middle and high schools for in-person instruction starting next month, if the state will sign off on the plan.

The decision comes as the district’s safety review process to reopen secondary schools was approved Friday by county public health officials and forwarded to the state for final approval, expected on or before March 9. It also could move ahead if the county advances into the state’s red reopening tier.

District officials are preparing to reopen secondary schools March 15.

Middle and high school students will spend two days a week in-person, two days doing distance learning in A and B cohorts and will do asynchronous learning on Fridays, according to a letter released Friday by the district.

Students also will have the option to remain fully virtual under the district’s model, officials said.

Starting Saturday, educators — as well as emergency services, food and agriculture (including grocery story employees) and child care providers — are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County. Not all who are eligible will immediately be able to get the vaccine due to limited supplies, however, according to the county.

“Board members and Superintendent Phelps have been working very hard behind the scenes with Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and SDCOE Superintendent Paul Gothold to ensure PUSD teachers are among the first to be vaccinated as was promised to districts that have already reopened,” the letter reads. “We are still hopeful this advocacy will allow us to be moved toward the front of the line.

“PUSD families can also help, by emphasizing the need to vaccinate our staff with our local county leaders.”

Another of the county’s largest district, Sweetwater Union High School District, is tentatively planning on reopening the classroom April 12. That district remains in the review process with the county.

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