Poway Unified School District is one of many districts and charter schools in the county that picked up their allotments of home test kits at the San Diego County Office of Education after the shipments from the state were delayed, "Due to unprecedented rain over the last two weeks.”
The state promised six million home test kits as students headed back to school after winter break.
Poway Unified received 36,000 kits, one for each student in the district. District employees separated the kits into piles for each of the schools. Some were delivered to the schools Wednesday, others will be delivered Thursday. Students could get them in their hands Thursday or Friday.
Chief of Communications for the district Christine Paik said despite the delay in getting the kits, they will be helpful moving forward.
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“Right now, there is such a shortage and difficulty for our families to get access to tests, so these test kits from the state will really help us ensure our kids are going to school as healthy and safe as possible," Paik said.
The help is needed. Poway is among many districts with very high rates of absenteeism among students and staff.
On Monday, there were 3,700 absences compared to an average Monday when 1,300 to 1,600 students call in sick.
“This could be due to illness, this could be due to concern among families that did not want to send their kids back quite yet after winter break,” said Paik. “So we don't know whether it’s COVID-19 or what. We do know we see it in the numbers that were significant.”
There are staff shortages too, with 152 teachers calling in sick Monday, and enough bus drivers to impact 24 out of 120 bus routes. Those routes were delayed or canceled, according to Paik.
On Wednesday, 14 school districts picked up their home test kit allotments. Two districts will pick up their allotments Thursday, and 8 districts already got kits. That leaves 20 districts that have not received them and will not get them, according to the County Office of Education.
Below is a list of districts and charter schools that received these allotments:
- Coronado Unified
- Audeo Charter
- Cajon Valley Union School District
- Charter School of San Diego
- Chula Vista Elementary School District
- Darnall Charter
- Empower Language Academy
- Escondido Union School District
- Fallbrook Union School District
- Grossmont Secondary Charter
- Jamul-Dulzura Union Elementary School District
- Juvenile Court and Community Schools
- King-Chavez (5 charter schools)
- National Elementary School District
- Poway Unified
- River Valley Charter School
- San Dieguito Union High School District
- San Ysidro School District
- Steele Canyon High
- Sweetwater Union High School District
- Sweetwater Secondary School
- The Heights Charter
- The Learning Choice Academy
- Vista Unified
Thursday, the below districts are expected to pick up their allotments:
- Solana Beach School District
- Warner Unified School District
- Leonardo de Vinci Health Sciences Charter
- Sage Oak Charter