The San Diego Unified School District has released new details of the next phases of reopening schools, outlining which student groups will be the next to return. The district plans a formal update on the timing of the next phase for Tuesday, Oct. 27, following the release of the next San Diego County COVID-19 weekly report.
Elementary school teachers returned to campus to provide appointment-based, in-person instruction for students with the greatest needs on Oct. 13 under Phase 1 of reopening. The district said it hopes to expand Phase 1 to provide appointment-based, in-person instruction for secondary students grades 6-12 and children in the infant/toddler and early-learning programs.
San Diego Unified has modeled its reopening based on strict health and safety guidelines designed by a team of scientific experts from the UC San Diego. Next Tuesday’s update will give the district two weeks of data regarding Phase 1. To date, no COVID-19 transmissions have been reported at schools participating in Phase 1.
“We know behind every student, behind every educator eager to return to the classroom, there is a family worried about the safety of their loved ones. That is why our reopening plans are centered on the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said.
In outlining details of the future reopening phases, the district announced Phase 2 will open up in-person learning to all elementary students and staff under a split schedule designed to facilitate social distancing. Details on all four phases of reopening follow.
Expansion of Phase 1
* Expansion of Phase 1 appointment-based program for secondary students grades 6-12 and educators.
* Expansion of Phase 1 appointment-based program for infant/toddler and early-learning programs and educators.
* Elementary (Pre-k to fifth grade) students would return to campus four days a week. Students would be split into two cohorts for either a morning session or afternoon session in order to safely rotate students into classrooms. Elementary students would receive in-person instruction Monday through Thursday. Fridays would be set aside for “live” online check-ins and independent asynchronous learning.
* Secondary (sixth to 12th grade) students would return to campus two days a week. Students would be split into two cohorts, with Cohort 1 attending on Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort 2 attending on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays would be dedicated to on-line learning for all students. Secondary students would follow a similar bell schedule with morning minutes dedicated to class period instruction and afternoon minutes would be dedicated to flex time for asynchronous learning or appointment-based services.
* Elementary (Pre-k to fifth grade) students would attend classes on-site four days a week Monday through Thursday. Fridays would be set aside for “live” online check-ins and independent asynchronous learning.
* Secondary (sixth-12th grade) students would attend classes on site four days a week, Monday through Thursday. Fridays would be set aside for online learning. Morning minutes would continue to be dedicated to class-period instruction and afternoon minutes would be dedicated to flex time.
* Elementary (Pre-k to fifth grade) students would attend five days a week with one modified day.
* Secondary (sixth to 12th grade) students would attend five days a week. Morning minutes would continue to be dedicated to class-period instruction and afternoon minutes would be dedicated to flex time.
The district has identified health and sanitation procedures for Phases 2-4 for students, employees and families that are based on guidelines from the state, county, and UC San Diego.
“San Diego Unified’s reopening plans include strict measures that are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and to our community,” said district physician Dr. Howard Taras, on faculty at the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego. “We continue to rely on the expertise and collaboration of my UCSD colleagues and public health officials.”
San Diego Unified is working to secure a comprehensive COVID-19 testing, tracing, and monitoring program for staff and students as recommended by a panel of experts from UCSD: See the full report at sandiegounified.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_27732394/File/SDUSD_Scientific%20Panel%20Review_FINAL.pdf.
San Diego Unified has also been preparing for the safe reopening of schools for months with the purchase of $45 million (sandiegounified.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_27732394/File/About/LCAP/LCP%20SDUSD%20Adopted%209.22.20..pdf) in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety upgrades, including air filters, desk shields and hand sanitizing stations. The district has received some 200,000 masks in child and adult sizes from the state, along with 14,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.