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Carlsbad high school, middle school students head back to in-person school 5 days per week

Students can still stay distance learning full-time if families are more comfortable with that.

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Middle and high school students in the Carlsbad Unified School District returned to the classroom full-time for five days per week of in-person school starting on Monday, March 29.

Students can still stay distance learning full-time if families are more comfortable with that.

Kylee Edwards is a junior at Carlsbad High School. Monday was her first day back on campus since March 12, 2020. 

“At first, I had a lot of mixed feelings, but I think right now, I’m just excited to have person, in-person interaction,” said Edwards. “I’m just excited to see my friends [and] my teachers in person who I haven’t seen all year and it’s just exciting but it’s a little nerve-wracking as well.”

On March 20, the California Department of Public Health relaxed six-foot social distancing guidelines, instead saying students only have to stay three feet apart. This made it more realistic for schools to reopen. 

California has received nationwide criticism for its slowness to reopen schools and student sports in comparison to other states. A judge ruled two weeks ago in favor of a group of North County San Diego parents who sued the state to overturn pandemic-related rules they allege have unfairly prevented school districts from reopening for in-person learning.

The ruling ordered middle and high schools in the San Dieguito, Carlsbad, Poway, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista school districts to reopen “to the greatest extent possible, at the earliest practicable time.”

The temporary restraining order issued by San Diego Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland prohibited the state from enforcing the provisions of its January framework for reopening schools, which the plaintiffs allege has interfered with school districts' reopening plans and includes "arbitrary" restrictions that have impeded in-person instruction from resuming.

The lawsuit alleged several provisions outlined in the state's framework are arbitrary, such as one that prohibits high schools and middle schools from reopening until counties achieve a COVID-19 case rate of 7 per 100,000 population while outside of the most restrictive purple tier, while elementary schools can reopen at case rates of 25 per 100,000.

The Carlsbad Unified School Board of Trustees made the decision on March 24 to bring kids back to in person schools. Some students had been learning on a hybrid model.

In a statement, it also said it will address ways to make more mental health help available to children. 

The CDC ,as well as a number of pediatricians in San Diego and Imperial Counties, have campaigned for children to get back to in-person schools even if teachers aren’t vaccinated. Nonetheless, the coronavirus vaccine is available for interested teachers in San Diego County. 

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