UC High Scheduled to Return to In-Person Schooling on April 12

Ghada Atalla, Staff Writer

  The UC High student body is projected to return to in-person learning on April 12 if certain criteria is met, which was agreed upon by the district and the teachers’ union, including teachers’ ability to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the county reaching the red tier  and other precautions.

  A representative from the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) said,  “Following a  joint announcement last week of new learning labs for at-risk students, San Diego Unified and local educators have announced plans for a full reopening as soon as declining case rates and increased vaccinations make it safe to do so” (sandiegounified.org).

  “We have had about fifteen students on campus since December and next week we are increasing our student body to forty students with the plans to continue to grow from there. Currently we are working with students that have  504 plans and IEPs, second language learners, those who have mental health distress, or students with academic issues. These students were either recommended by the district, counselors, or teachers. We are allowing ten to fourteen students in a class right now for phase one of the school reopening,” said UC High General Secretary Sarah Myers.

   According to a SDUSD news release, “The City of San Diego has offered to make emergency medical personnel available to help administer vaccines to educators, and the County of San Diego has said teacher vaccinations could begin as soon as Monday, February 29.”

    A representative from SDUSD said, “For those who continue to worry about our ability to operate safely in the middle of this pandemic, we have the latest safety measures in place in every school, and our testing program is expanding rapidly. We will not cut corners on safety, and our widespread testing program should give everyone confidence in our commitment to remain vigilant against the spread of the COVID-19 virus” (sandiegounified.org).

   Principal Jeff Olivero said, “Daily cleaning (with soap and water or a cleaner, not a disinfectant) of high touch surfaces and shared items is recommended, while disinfecting is reserved only for areas when a COVID-19 positive case spent a ‘large proportion’ of their time in the area.” Myers added that the custodial team currently uses cleaning supplies to sanitize all the classrooms.

  According to SDUSD, “Based on the district’s interpretation of the guidance, [we will] avoid sharing desks, chairs and other items whenever possible; students will be tasked with using the provided baby wipes to wipe down their desk and chair after each class.”

  “Reopening schools is an important step to getting our students, staff, and our community to a new normal,” said Myers. 

   “With the school reopening, students and teachers are able to communicate in a desired environment without distractions or confusion that online learning holds. I really miss the collaboration aspect school offers and being able to see my friends,” said Junior Kyrsten Guzman. “I think if the vaccine were to help decrease transmission rates of COVID-19, this could assure students that they would be safe in the in-person learning environment. Knowing that the vaccine is effective at preventing the contraction of the virus, students would be able to focus more on their studies instead of worrying about catching the virus.”