Chula Vista

Sweetwater Union High School District Picks Start Date for New School Year

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The Sweetwater Union High School District decided on a day to start the next school year, and is trying to come up with creative ways to keep students safe, distanced, and engaged when they're ready to return to campus.

August 3 is the official first day of school for the district, but students will have at least four weeks to go shopping for back to school clothes. That's because the district plans to keep students learning remotely during that time until it irons out a plan that is safe for everyone.

SUHSD laid out some of its ideas for the community at a meeting Thursday.

Sanitation will be a big part of it. The district is considering limiting access points to campuses and including hand washing curriculum. It'll also require masks and possibly other personal protective equipment be worn by students and staff, and temperatures could be screened as well.

Social distancing is the next big hurdle. The district will have to limit the number of students in a classroom, and even on a school bus. That means classes could be moved into gyms or even outside, and class schedules might be staggered so that students come to campus on alternating days.

If any student can't come back to campus, a distance learning option similar to the one implemented at the onset of the pandemic will still be available. The district also plans on distributing laptops, iPads and other devices for students who need them.

One idea for keeping students connected includes setting up wifi hot spots in parking lots.

Once health officials begin easing restrictions on schools, the district will have to slowly transition back to on campus learning, but it may never truly be as it was before COVID-19.

For now, sports are still on pause and it's unclear for how long.

State and federal funding has helped the district continue supplying meals to students while campuses are closed, and has also helped them stockpile more than 100,000 masks, according to the district.

Come July, the district will whittle down some of its options

in July, they will have whittle down some of its options after hearing feedback that parents submitted at Thursday's meeting.

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