Good news came Wednesday for many families in the Poway Unified School District.
The district announced elementary and special needs students will be allowed back in the classroom part time starting Monday, Feb. 1.
Two weeks ago, the district board voted to reopen schools for those students sometime between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. On Wednesday evening, the district sent a letter to families confirming a start date.
Sunset Hills Elementary students have been on an a.m.-p.m. hybrid learning schedule and many families were hoping kids could go back to in-person learning full time after the winter break. Instead, the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases ahead of the holidays closed schools completely and students went back to virtual learning full time all of January. The district said it wanted to avoid having to close campuses down again shortly after reopening them.
The district’s letter reminded parents that students should be checked for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school, and families were urged to avoid gatherings outside their immediate family. Once on campus, students will have to wear face coverings,
The hybrid model was working well in the Schafer household. Gloria Scafer said full-time virtual learning is tough on her second grader, Brennan.
“For me, I think it is going to be very helpful,” Schafer said. “He has been very frustrated doing this online school. I don't think he is getting the quality education he should be getting. I understand the risk involved but I feel bad because I’m working during the day. He's trying to do virtual school and he's not getting the full attention."
One can probably guess how Brenna feels
“Excited. Fun, fun,” he said.
According to state guidelines, middle and high schools won't open until San Diego county is in the red tier. County leaders have said San Diego ahs a long way to go before it moves into red from purple.
Poway Unified’s notice said some small groups of older students can resume in-person learning and activities on Monday, but those instances will be coordinated on a school-by-school basis.