SAN DIEGO – Come first bell Monday, roughly 50,000 students in the San Diego Unified School District will be back in the classroom learning, many for the first time in more than a year.
The district has done distance learning for the past 13 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For a lot of students, and really for maybe all of our students, it feels like the first day of school,” San Diego Unified Board President Richard Barrera said.
Students from elementary up to high schools all will have the option to return in some fashion. About half of the district’s students opted to continue with online schooling from a distance.
Conditions in San Diego County continue to improve with roughly 24% of residents now fully vaccinated and eligibility expanding throughout the state late next week to include residents ages 16 and older. The county also recently was promoted into California’s orange reopening tier, which comes with looser restrictions for industries from bars to places of worship to movie theaters.
“Our teachers and all of our staff should be vaccinated by Monday,” Barrera said.
Now 200 schools will turn the lights back on and invite masked-up students back into the halls, as a number of other local districts have done in recent weeks.
Parents are asked to arrive early, but will not be allowed onto campuses due to COVID-19 regulations.
“This has been a traumatic year for (students),” Barrera said. “We know that students are going to need the extra academic support from us to get caught up, but we also know our students are going to need that social, emotional support.”