Carlsbad middle and high school students will soon be able to return to class five days a week after the Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees voted in favor of the measure.
In a motion discussed during Wednesday’s meeting, Board members voted 3-2 in favor of letting older students return to school five days beginning March 29. The school district will use its current daily bell schedule for the updated plan.
“I think it’s super cool to be back with classmates and teachers and to be back in school,” said Carlsbad High School freshman Hannah Lewis, happy to be back two days a week, but thrilled to be able to go back more days.
“I feel good, I’m actually kind of glad because I've been without social interaction for a long time. So, I’m ready for it,” said freshman Makayla Mazzulla.
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While feeling grateful for the extra days, both students wish it were four days a week, not five. They don’t want to give up Wednesdays, a day now used for independent study.
“The teachers have given us that day to catch up on work. We still get a ton of assignments, it’s not just a day I get to mess around,” said Mazzulla, who also said for some students it is a mental break. “School is overwhelming considering the times I think," but she said having more days of in-person instruction is worth it.
Lewis also said it is not just to get a day off from school.
“We still have assigned work, so it’s not like we have a free day on Wednesday, it’s just that we’re not interacting with our teacher.”
There is a petition circulating campuses asking the board to reconsider.
“The goal is to make one final transition and then stick with it through the rest of the year,” said Churchill. “So, at this point, I don’t see a great appetite for reconsideration.”
Churchill said he and the board are sensitive to the needs of students, teachers, and families who have been through a lot of changes during this pandemic. In April, he said the board will discuss ways, including how to allocate funds, to support additional mental health resources.
“The mental health needs are not going away overnight. We’re going to take a long-term approach to how we put resources in place, not just now but in the future,” Churchill said.
The original motion stated that the plans are assuming teachers and staff interested in getting inoculated have received all necessary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by April 12.
Earlier this month, in-person instruction for sixth graders at three Carlsbad Unified middle schools resumed with a hybrid model for students who wanted to return. In mid-March middle and high school students in the district were welcomed to return to school two days a week.
Slowly more and more schools in the county have begun to reopen as the region experiences an optimistic trend in coronavirus cases and vaccine rates. Schools in San Diego County closed campuses and switched to remote learning in March of 2020 due to the pandemic.