San Diego Unified School District

Tour of City Heights School's New Construction Offers Sneak Peek at SDUSD's Return to Classrooms

San Diego Unified School District Board President Richard Barrera said social distancing and facial coverings will be mandated, and each classroom's air quality will be monitored

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In honor of the rebuilding of Hoover High School, local leaders gave a tour of the school and offered a sneak peek of what life would look like for San Diego School Unified District students when they return to class.

SDUSD announced last month that its target date for reopening schools is slated for April 12. While schools get ready to welcome their students back, Sen. Toni Atkins, the district’s board president Richard Barrera and Hoover High School Principal Jason Babineau toured Hoover’s reconstructed campus.

“I am filled with hope this morning, this newly renovated school will be able to welcome back teachers, classmates and teammates to experience their new school for the first time,” said Atkins. “Our collective work continues,  but today we are one step closer on the journey to hear that school bell ring again.”

Parents and students are getting a better look at what San Diego Unified School District’s return to classrooms will look like after local leaders were given a tour of a newly constructed school in City Heights. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford has more.

Desks were seen spaced out in one classroom during the tour and a device that monitors the room’s air quality was also seen. The social distancing and air quality monitoring are part of the school district’s effort to keep students, teachers and staff safe upon their in-person return.

“There are health and safety standards that have to be in place at every school,” Barrera said. “That includes social distancing of students, that includes everybody wearing masks, that includes everybody being tested once every two weeks and the testing will take place here on campus, that includes regular cleaning of our classrooms. It very much includes…proper ventilation of the classrooms with monitoring of the air quality in our classrooms.”

Barrera added that the school district will offer families the chance to have their children continue with remote learning if they prefer that as opposed to sending them back to school.

“We’re also very much aware that some of our families won’t be comfortable yet having their kids come back so we have to maintain a stable quality distance option,” he said.

Looking at the new renovations, high school senior Janet Garista said, “It looks beautiful, it looks like a really powerful school and, 'Oh my God, Hoover kids go there!'"

But Garista said she would not return on the targeted April 12 date, "I want to protect my family from covid and I don’t want to increase the rates.”

Hoover High School’s adaptation to the pandemic comes as it is rebuilt just in time for students to return. A three-story classroom building was constructed in addition to a stunning new theater and performing arts building on campus.

“I cannot wait to see the faces of our students when they walk through these halls for the first time,” Principal Babineau said. “They deserve this and more.”

“This newly renovated school will soon be able to welcome back teachers, classmates and teammates to experience their new school for the first time,” Sen. Atkins said.

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