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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

What's the plan for each school district in San Diego County this fall?

Check back as News 8 continues to provide the latest updates on reopening plans and options in San Diego County's schools.
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO —

On Friday, July 17, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced strict new guidelines that will limit which school districts are allowed to reopen for in-class instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic amid spiking coronavirus cases. 

All schools, public and private, will not be allowed to physically reopen if they are located in the counties currently on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist. These districts must begin the school year with distance-learning programs.

At this time, San Diego County is one of the 32 counties currently on the list. However, it is possible San Diego County will meet the criterion to get off of the watch list. 

RELATED: Gov. Newsom orders California schools to stay closed to in-class instruction in counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list

This new announcement may change the existing plans for several school districts across the county. 

This announcement marks a shift from allowing each local county and school district to make decisions regarding reopening and moves it to the state level and the criteria set forth by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

For schools in counties currently on the watchlist to reopen, the counties would need to meet the criteria set forth by the California Department of Public Health and also have a 14-day declining trend of new COVID-19 cases.

Once a county does meet the criteria to be taken off the state’s watchlist, the decision to allow schools to reopen for in-class instruction would be decided by local government and school officials.

"Learning in the state of California is simply non-negotiable," Newsom said. 

But he added, "Safety is foundational. Safety will ultimately make the determination of how we go about educating our kids."


San Diego District plans before Governor's announcement on July 17

The San Diego County Office of Education announced each respective district in the county will decide whether or not to return to in-person classroom learning, online distance learning or a combination of the two.

"We encourage each of the nearly 800 public schools and 230 private schools in the county to consider this guidance, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Education (CDE), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and local public health orders, as part of their planning process," said the SDCOE. 

Below is what each school district countywide has decided for fall 2020 so far. This story will be updated regularly when new, official plans become available. 

San Diego Unified School District

The San Diego Unified School District announced July 30, it had solidified an online learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year with the support of its leaders and teachers union. According to the district, the learning experience was designed with input from educators, parents, and students and is meant to feel similar to a traditional school year. 

SDUSD, the second-largest school district in the state, released a joint statement with the Los Angeles Unified School District July 13, stating the two districts would begin the school year remotely on August 31 until going back to school is deemed a low-risk environment for students.

San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera said he hopes to provide an update by August 10 the same day more details of the online learning plan are set to be announced. 

Alpine Union School District

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Board of Trustees approved the AUSD Reopening Schools Plan, which includes a return to face-to-face learning in the classroom four days a week, Tuesday through Friday. Monday will be a day in which students will be participating in distance learning. This will also provide custodial staff with the ability to deep clean campuses on a weekly basis. 

"In addition to our on-site option, we will offer home school, independent study, and distance learning options for those parents who would prefer that their child not return to learning at the school site," said Superintendent Newman.

School resumes on August 19. 

Bonsall Unified School District

"Principals, teachers, and site support staff are working hard to plan the details of site safety procedures as it relates to the guidelines and requirements for reopening schools" with three surveyed learning models which would begin on August 19. 

Borrego Springs Unified School District

The school district has not made a final decision, although it will likely be a hybrid if all goes according to plan. 

"We won't do five days a week face-to-face, and we also won't go to fully online unless that becomes required by the county or state.  We would like to see kids on campus a minimum of two days a week [or[ possibly up to four days, with Mondays off," the district said.

Cajon Valley Union School District

The Cajon Valley Union School District in East County reopened in July for in-person teaching for the first time since schools were ordered to close by public health orders. Every elementary and middle school is open in Cajon Valley. 

Cardiff School District 

"We are prepared to begin the new school year with a full return to classroom instruction but could pivot to a staggered start hybrid model plan or a distance learning model if necessary," said Superintendent Jill Vinson in a letter.

The district will also offer a fully online virtual academy option for the school year.

Carlsbad Unified School District

The Carlsbad School District said as of July 23, the first four weeks of instruction will be distance learning. The first day of instruction is August 25, according to the school board. 

Chula Vista Elementary District

Chula Vista Elementary School District -- the largest elementary district in the state -- announced July 15 it would follow SDUSD's lead and wait to open classrooms.

"We will continue to work towards transitioning to in-person instruction but will only do so when guidance from local health officials supports a safe transition back to learning on-site in classrooms," Superintendent Francisco Escobedo wrote in a message to parents. 

Escobedo said the district will transition from online learning to hybrid learning and then to fully in-person learning once it's safe. Online learning begins on August 31.

Coronado Unified School District

The district said as guidelines change, it will adjust its learning approach. Parents have the option to opt for in-person instruction or online learning.

Dehesa School District

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, July 16, via videoconferencing to discuss a variety of topics for the upcoming school year. The agenda can be found here. The district said it is "making preparation to be ready for 100% virtual [learning] if necessary."

Del Mar Union School District

Schools can enroll in either in-person instruction or the district's online learning program.

Encinitas Union School District

The district hopes to offer an in-person instruction option, but noted that that is subject to change. Distance learning is an option and the district has developed a hybrid option if needed.

Escondido Union School District

The scheduled first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year was slated to be Aug. 11 but on Thursday, July 16, the EUSD Board of Trustees voted to delay the opening of school two weeks until Aug. 25. 

"The district will open with distance learning on August 25 until September 25.  If health conditions permit, the district will move to a hybrid learning model on September 25," a statement from the district read in part.

The school district has a list of frequently asked questions and possibilities for the school year here. According to a July 9 Board of Education presentation, the flexible goal is to have students back on campus, although other options, like a hybrid model, are on the table.

In late July, the district said parents can choose a blended hybrid learning model or fully online instruction. 

Escondido Union High School District

Whether or not the district starts with the 2-Day Blended Model or in a completely virtual environment is "yet to be determined" according to Superintendent Staffieri. An update is expected after an August 4 board meeting. 

Fallbrook Union Elementary District

As of July 9, the district is planning on giving families a choice. Option one will be five days a week, on-campus, face to face learning with a modified instructional day and safety protocols in place. Option two will be five days a week of virtual learning at home taught by either an FUESD teacher or taught by the parent. School starts on August 17. 

Fallbrook Union High School District

In a school reopening presentation presented at a board meeting on July 13, the board said the plan depends on which of the three high schools in the district the student attends. For plans for each of the respective high schools, which could include in-person, online, or hybrid models, click here. In late July, the district planned on implementing a hybrid model with "face-to-face cohorts two days a week in a blended learning model. The model transitions easily to a fully online possibility." School starts August 17.

Grossmont Union High School District

The district released a reopening plan on July 9. There will be a blended learning or fully distancing learning option to choose from. Some students may physically come back to the classroom once per week. 

Jamul-Dulzura Union School District

The first day of school is set for August 13. There will be two options: fully distance learning or hybrid instruction with two days per week in-person and three days per week online. 

Julian Union School District

Little to no information is available. Check back for updates.

Julian Union High School District

The first day of school is scheduled for August 11. According to a representative for the superintendent, due to the district's smaller student population, it's hoping to ideally have all students back on campus, but is prepared to go back to distance learning if need be.

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District

On July 15, the district said, "we are reconsidering our plans for how schools will reopen." On July 20, there will be a special board meeting via Zoom and the district hopes to have a better idea of what the fall will look like by July 22.

Lakeside Union School District

The Board of Trustees approved a reopening plan on July 9. According to Superintendent Johnsen, the hope is to offer families an in-person option or an online option. There will be a blended option as well. 

Lemon Grove School District

The Board of Trustees outlined the surveyed results from families and staff as of July 14. There will be a full-time distance learning option with a full year commitment, a hybrid option, and possibly a full-time in-person option.

Mountain Empire Unified School District

The Board of Trustees presented a plan on July 7. The district will offer a full time homeschool/distance learning option as well as a hybrid model where children would spend a few days per week distance learning and a few days per week on campus.

National School District

According to Superintendent Brady, school is slated to return on August 24. The district is developing fully online and hybrid learning plans for students, which are outlined in this letter.

Oceanside Unified School District

In a reopening presentation on June 23, the Board of Education outlined three possible instructional models: Hybrid, which consists of three days a week of distance learning and two days on campus; traditional in-person, where students return to school with safety measures in place; and distance learning, where students remain at home and learn both synchronously (in real-time with a teacher) and asynchronously (students have some control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning). More will be decided at a July 21 board meeting. 

Poway Unified School District

On August 5, PUSD announced it will remain fully virtual through the December break (December 21-January 1), regardless of whether the in-person or fully virtual learning option was selected in the recently-completed "Family Commitment Form."

Ramona Unified School District

There will be a special board meeting on July 16.

Superintendent Grace said RUSD has a formulated plan for reopening schools. There will be options for students, which include traditional face-to-face instruction, a blended hybrid model or 100% distance learning. 

Rancho Santa Fe School District

According to agenda notes from the July 9 board meeting, the district has three committees underway. An instruction committee for each school and a safety committee. The social/emotional committee will be formed and meet prior to the start of school. The district is planning additional classes to maintain low class size that will allow for all students to attend school all day with the social distancing requirement of six feet for the 20-21 school year.

Overall, the district hopes to resume in-person instruction and will offer families a full-time distance learning option as well. 

San Dieguito Union High School District

"Here in SDUHSD, we’ve not yet made a decision about the reopening of our schools," said Superintendent Robert Haley. "We are developing learning models for next year that will align with all of the possible pandemic scenarios we could find our district in ranging from on-campus, in-class instruction, to the maximum extent possible as called for by the State of California in the current year’s budget, to full-time distance learning." 

The district had proposed different options for families and added it is working with more than 55 teachers. 

San Marcos Unified School District

Superintendent Garcia hopes parents will take this survey. 

"With the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront and the importance of a strong instructional program guiding our work, we have developed possible models that will allow students to either return to school in-person in a modified traditional model (with all of the safety mitigation as itemized above) for elementary; return to school with a combination of in-person and virtual learning (middle school and high school); or return to school in a fully virtual environment (elementary and secondary)," said Garcia on July 14.

San Pasqual Union School District

Superintendent Burroughs last made an update over a month ago, asking parents to fill out this survey. The district said there will "most likely be two options" which are either full-time distance learning or a blended option.

San Ysidro School District

The plan is to offer a blended hybrid model with two days per week of in-person instruction and three per days per week of virtual instruction. The board will discuss the plan on July 28.

Santee School District

On July 23, the Santee School District announced it would have online learning beginning August 19. They are also hoping for in-person instruction with "lower class sizes [and safety] protocols" but parents can select the distance learning option. 

Solana Beach School District

The district described face-to-face instruction as "flexible." There will be online and face-to-face learning models. 

South Bay Union School District

The district is hoping to offer hybrid instruction of two days per week in person and three days per week online, or a fully virtual learning option. 

Spencer Valley School District

There was a board meeting on July 15. Superintendent Weaver released this report in June. The district is hoping for in-person instruction with staggered start times, but added that could change to full-time distance learning depending on health directives.

Sweetwater Union High School District

School begins with distance learning August 3. The first four weeks of instruction will be online. Then, there are flexible plans in the works for a blended hybrid model of learning. 

School officials said the return to school will be based on public health orders and that they will reassess their situation at three key dates during the year - September 21, 2020, November 30, 2020, and March 1, 2021.

Vallecitos School District

Parents were given three choices: face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning instruction, but based on survey results, it is not planning for a hybrid option.

Valley Center-Pauma Unified District

There was a special board meeting via Zoom on July 16. The district is exploring choices for parents that include face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning instruction.

Vista Unified School District

There are two proposed options for learning models in the fall: Vista Classic. which is in-person, and Vista Virtual, which is online. The board has not yet finalized the decision to fully implement two models.  

Warner Unified School District

A special board meeting via Zoom is scheduled for July 16. The second action item is discussing's the superintendent's reopening plan, which includes two options - 100% face-to-face instruction or fully online instruction. 

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