San Marcos School Board meets to discuss future of in-person learning
After nearly two hours of open session meeting and lengthy public comment from concerned constituents among the district, the meeting turned to the topic of reopening plans. Citing guidance from California Department of Public Health, leaders announced changes to secondary reopening plans could not come until San Diego County was in the red tier of the state’s reopening system.
“This new guidance has shifted what we are doing not with San Marcos but with everyone Carlsbad, San Deguito, vista Escondido… we are not able to bring our schools back until we meet the red tier,” said Asst. Superintendent Tiffany Campbell.
The board voted Tuesday night to begin to allow a phased reopening of elementary students back onto campus beginning next Tuesday. Kindergarten and first will return to campus on January 26, second and third graders can return on February 16 with fourth and fifth graders being phased in on February 23.
Parents and teachers rallied Monday night ahead of the board meeting to plead for the board to take note of other districts finding ways to begin sending kids back to school.
“September they promised to bring the middle and high schoolers back to a hybrid schedule, two days a week on campus,” said SMUSD parent Bernadette Howarth. “That plan has since been thrown out the window.”
Due to a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases, the district put a pause on plans to return to campus. Parents and students who are ready to return feel accommodations should be made for who want to begin learning in a hybrid model.
“I want to point out that any families or kids not comfortable, they are all afforded that choice to not return to campus,” Howarth said. “And we would really like to see the choice be given to the students who want to come on campus as well.”
Some parents feel the teacher unions are bullying the school district into remaining closed. Howarth says she just hopes the board will listen to feedback and make changes soon.
“The hardest part has been watching kids sink into depression and feeling like our board doesn’t listen to us, doesn’t listen to the community and doesn’t fight for their kids,” Howarth said. “Please please fight for our kids and find a way to get them on campus.”