Keeping Up With Ever-Changing Plans to Reopen Schools

What happens after winter break? Who goes back for in-person instruction and when?

NBC Universal, Inc.

Dealing with school re-openings during the pandemic has been an exercise in flexibility.

It seems the one thing certain about school reopening plans, regardless of the district, is that the plans are bound to change. Parents are now trying to keep up with when students return for in-person instruction, once winter break is over.

San Diego Unified didn't reopen for in-person instruction when San Diego County was in the red tier. Instead, it decided to re-open in January, a plan that was delayed after the county moved to the most-restrictive, purple tier. A school board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13 to decide what is next.

The situation is the same with secondary schools in the Oceanside Unified School district, whose school board will meet Jan. 12 to decide its next move.  

Sweetwater Union High School District has not reopened for in-person instruction yet, either,  and will meet in February to decide its future plans.

On the other hand, districts like Poway Unified, which had reopened campuses, have suspended in-person instruction for two weeks after winter break. Vista Unified, which opened five days a week for students who wanted in-person instruction, ended up closing some schools temporarily due to quarantines. Now, middle schools in Vista Unified will have a two-week pause after winter break, returning Jan. 19. High schools there will have a three-week pause after winter break, back Jan. 26.

After some students and teachers in the San Dieguito Union High School District protested, the board voted to delay its plan to reopen Jan. 4 for in-person instruction. The board has yet to determine what will happen Jan. 27, when the third quarter begins, or whether schools can open while the county is in the purple tier.

The districts are not pausing or suspending classes, however. Students who were doing in-person instruction have pivoted to virtual learning, until things change again.

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