‘It is so frustrating:’ Poway parents in limbo as district awaits review

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POWAY, Calif. — Families are in limbo as they wait for word on when their middle school and high school students can return to campus.

Elementary school students are already learning in-person in the Poway Unified School District. Plans to bring older students on campus were pushed back from Jan. 19 to Feb. 17. Those plans are now on hold because of changing state guidelines.

“It is so frustrating for our families, for our school staff and for us as district leadership to try to plan amidst all these changing guidelines,” district spokesperson Christine Paik said.

Paik said they are now awaiting the outcome of a “safety review process” by the California Department of Public Health. The CDPH is allowing school districts that were already in the process of bringing back students to apply to reopen.

“Our intent does not waver from our desire to pursue every opportunity to safely reopen our schools,” the district told parents in a letter. “As soon as we receive an update from the CDPH, we will let you know.”

Tina Campbell has one of her sons at home doing the best he can with online learning while the other is on campus in special education classes.

“They’re not getting that schedule, and that regiment of showing up and being present on campus,” she said. “My son’s sitting on the couch right now in pajamas, a blanket on him doing an advanced math class.”

Fellow PUSD parent Heather Aune also has one student at school and one at home.

“Thinking about another few months of virtual school, after the last 11 months, I think is really difficult,” she said. “And as a parent, to try to capture the right mind set to put (my son) into how much longer it’s going to be. I don’t have an answer.”

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