Fallbrook UHSD Parents, Students Frustrated by Slow Return to Full-Time, In-Person Learning

Parents, angry with district policy, are asking for the recall of FUHSD President

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Parents of students in the Fallbrook Union High School District are frustrated that their kids aren't back in the classroom full time.

The Fallbrook Union High School District recently reached an agreement with a Fallbrook teachers group that the district would reopen full time once San Diego County was in the yellow tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening plan, and only if they are able to handle the transition, FUHSD Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez said. San Diego County is currently in the slightly more restrictive orange tier.

But some district parents are frustrated with distance learning and want their children back in school full time. They're so unhappy, they've started the process of circulating a petition to recall the school board president, Diane Summers.

The district switched to a hybrid learning plan last week with students in classrooms two days a week and learning remotely three days a week. Students are broken into three different groups so some of the students didn't enter the classroom for the first time until Monday.

Garza-Gonzalez said the hybrid transition was smooth for the students who have chosen to return to campus. About 44% of the student body chose to remain in the distance learning model.

When parents were asked how hybrid learning was going so far, some gave the district administration low marks.

"Why isn't Fallbrook going back full steam? What are their reasons? They haven't given us one reason,” parent Heidi Roderick said.

Many districts across San Diego County returned to an in-person learning model on Monday, although the majority were still using a hybrid option as well and gave families the chance to continue remote learning.

Here's a breakdown of school districts' reopening plans:

Roderick and Victoria McSheehy both have kids at Fallbrook High School and still want more action from the school.

"If you want to talk about an area where students are impacted by not going to class, by not having internet, by parents that needed to quit their jobs, this is the place,” McSheehy said.

Both say their kids' education has suffered with over a year of distance learning, and students say the hybrid model is not an upgrade.

"I've had restless nights. I've cried. It has not been fun," FHS sophomore Emma Nelson said.

"It’s very frustrating to see that those kids over there, they get to go back on campus. They get to have a more traditional high school experience, that's what I want but that's not what I've gotten,” junior Brian Weishaar added.

Fallbrook Union Elementary School District TK through 6th-grade students were back to in-class learning full time.

"I want to go back five days a week. I just feel like one or two days a week at school is completely pointless," Nelson said.

Disgruntled parents have filed an intention to circulate a recall petition for Summers.

"By creating this recall, we can put someone in that position that really is looking out for the best interest of the students," McSheehy said.

This school year ends in June and parents say the district has not announced any plans to change the hybrid format before then.

There was no discussion about the recall intent notice or going back to full-time classroom learning during the Monday board meeting.

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