Mission Vista High and Vista high schools will not re-open as planned for in-person learning on Nov. 12 Instead, after students from both high schools were discovered having attended Halloween parties, the district delayed the school reopenings until Nov. 16.
During the first week of school for in-person learning, students had to revert to distance learning after several coronavirus cases, unrelated to the campuses, placed hundreds of students and staff in quarantine.
Asked about the delay caused by students going to Halloween parties, parent Kelly said, “It upsets me because she’s been home for so long and she needs to go to school.”
Elwell's daughter is a ninth-grader at Mission Vista High and was among those quarantined the first week back to school.
“It is disappointing not to have kids on campus,“ said district Superintendent Matt Doyle. “We are student-centered and we want to create pathways for our students to get to campus and learn with teachers.”
Doyle said the district has no control over what students do off-campus, but if those students who went to the Halloween parties were to come back on campus, it could endanger students and staff.
Doyle said the district is expanding the safety measures it has had in place since Day 1.
“We should learn from the hiccups, talk to people, listen, get their feedback and continue to get better.” Doyle said.
The district is moving more classes outside. Besides already having Hepa filters, the district this week bought more than 1,000 fans for better airflow. It also purchased more plexiglass barriers for students to mitigate those times when students cannot be six feet apart. It is also setting up a COVID testing site that could open as early as next week. And on the advice of a county health expert, the district is going to have elementary school students clean their own desks.
“By engaging them and letting them clean just their desks, that in their own minds, they understand they can be part of the solution as they work together," said Doyle. “We’re taking feedback and implementing it across the district.”
“All of those layers work together to get kids on campus to keep kids learning and developing relationships with teachers,” Doyle said,