San Dieguito Union High School District Reopening Plans Halted

Students will not go back to campus for in-person instruction Jan. 4 as planned

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Students in the San Dieguito Union High School District will not be going back to campus for in-person instruction on Jan. 4, as was previously planned.

On Monday, the board voted to change the district's reopening plans after the teacher’s union took legal action to stop the reopening. Under the agreement carved out on Monday,, schools will not re-open for in person instruction between Jan. 4 and Jan. 26, and the union will not pursue its legal action.

"I think the board came to the appropriate conclusion,” said parent Heather Dugdale, who agrees with the teacher’s union that schools should not re-open now, especially with no waiting period after the holidays. 

Referring to the union’s legal action, Dugdale said, “This was their last resort -- to try to get our board to do the right thing that other school boards and even individual schools have done on their own.”

Jason Barry, who is also a parent, said, “It's unfortunately what was expected.”

Barry said he feels the vote gave the union “too much power,” but he also felt there was movement toward a solution. 

“I do feel hopeful there is a tone of wanting to work together, and I hope that’s not just lip service,” Barry said

The issue now is what happens on Jan. 27, when the district's schools are scheduled to begin the third quarter. If the region were able to flatten the curve and the state stay-home order is lifted for the Southern California region and San Diego County moves back to the red tier, would the district reopen?   

“I think we need to decide if we’re legally able to reopen or not,” school board member Katrina Young said

As the board grapples with that question, parents say there is another consideration: Whether the district will be ready with safety protocols in place when the district could reopen.

"I think they all need to do their part to be ready when it’s time to go," Barry said. "As soon as we’re out of this cloud of the purple tier -- however you want to define it -- have everything ready to go."

Dugdale said the district is not ready for a big surge of students on campus, but she, too, feels hopeful.

“I hope this has enabled us to hit the reset button, and work together and work collaboratively to get our kids back on campus,” Dugdale said.

The president of the teacher’s union sent an e-mail to NBC 7 on Monday, saying in part that the union appreciated the district listening to teachers' concerns about the importance of following state and county guidelines and had "rescinded its reopening plans -- for now."

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