Some Poway Unified Elementary Schools are opening their campuses to in-person learning for thousands of students.
Tara Hutter’s first and third graders are among the students who will be returning to Sundance Elementary School on Thursday. Nine other campuses are also opening their gates.
“I’m nervous. I’m a little apprehensive, but I’m definitely excited,” said the mother of four.
For weeks she’s been homeschooling her 1st and 3rd grader with support from the district.
She shared a video showing how hard it is to keep them focused. In the video she tells her students “Snack time is over,” and they respond, “No it’s not.”
“My kids are good students. They loved school in the past, but when I was trying to teach them it was very challenging. There was a lot of ‘This is so boring,' and 'I don't want to listen to you,’" she explained.
Their first lesson back on campus will be the district's new coronavirus safety precautions.
Students will have their temperatures taken upon arrival, and they'll have to wear face masks. They'll also have to get used to distanced desks reinforced by plexiglass panels.
The district also noted outdoor learning will be utilized when possible.
“I trust they’re doing everything in their power to keep it safe,” said Hutter.
Students will learn through a hybrid model of at-home and classroom instruction. When in school they’ll be split into morning and afternoon sessions.
And though students will still have at-home learning, parents like Hutter are learning even limited in-class instruction is valuable.
“Back to your question about suffering or being held back, definitely a little bit because they didn't want to listen to me. I’m not a teacher," she explained.
Sixteen more PUSD elementary schools will reopen Monday, Oct. 12.
And for those parents who aren’t sending their children to school, they’ll still be allowed to do distance learning.