The San Diego Unified School District said it plans to fully reopen -- but not until San Diego County sees declining COVID-19 case rates and increased coronavirus vaccinations that will make it safe to do so.
The state's second-largest school district outlined its plan Thursday for a full reopening of in-person instruction, saying the plan is geared toward fall 2021. This means distance learning mode will likely continue through the remainder of this school year.
"The framework announced today shows that in-person reopening for the fall is a shared commitment by both district leaders and educators, and could lead to a fuller reopening of some schools this year depending on the pace of the vaccine rollout and case-rates reductions," a press released from SDUSD read.
"The school leaders agreed on a reopening framework that centers on the availability of vaccines to all school staff who wish to be vaccinated and the continued reduction of case rates in the communities surrounding schools. They also agreed to continue working together to ensure all necessary safety measures are in place on every campus," SDUSD said in a joint statement with the San Diego Education Association.
SDUSD said it is committed to a full return to in-person classes in the fall and will also offer an online option for families who do not feel comfortable sending their children to campus.
"We feel confident making that commitment because we are confident the new Biden Administration is doing everything possible to vaccinate our workforce and provide the necessary resources for schools to operate safely," the statement from the school district said.
SDUSD said they will have the latest safety measures in place in every school and are expanding their testing program. The district said educators and school leaders have also re-engaged with UC San Diego Health experts to guide their work to reach a formal agreement to ensure the safety of students, staff and the community.