Local schools caught off guard by Gov. Newsom idea to reopen in July

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SAN DIEGO — Schools across San Diego County say they were caught off guard by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s idea to start the school year in July. 

In a Tuesday news conference, Newsom said the effort potentially could help students and districts make up for lost time, though it’s still just an option being considered rather than a finalized plan. School campuses closed for in-person instruction in late March.

“Our kids have lost a lot to this disruption,” Newsom said. “If we can maybe start up the school year a little earlier, that could help (close) that gap a little bit.”

In a statement this week, the San Diego County Office of Education said that while there hasn’t been “any official guidance” from Newsom or the state’s Department of Education, the office has been advising local school districts and charter schools “to plan for every scenario.”

That includes considering the possibility of starting the next school year in July or August.

“For some San Diego County school districts, that is already planned; a number are set to begin the 2021-20 school year on July 20,” the statement reads.

Some schools will not be starting in July. Poway School District spokeswoman Christine Paik said school calendars are far too complex to flip like a light switch. The district plans to begin instruction in mid-August, Paik said.

Our teachers and families have expressed they need a break,” she said. “Distance learning has been hard on a lot of them. They need a summer.”

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