SUHSD announces distance learning for rest of semester

Hanging+on+the+fence+bordering+the+Bonita+Vista+High+parking+lot%2C+a+sign+reads+%22Hang+in+there+community%21+We+are+strong%2C+we+are+kind%2C+we+will+prevail%21%21%22+Students+will+not+be+returning+to+campus+for+instruction+at+least+for+the+rest+of+the+semester.+

Isaac Lozano

Hanging on the fence bordering the Bonita Vista High parking lot, a sign reads “Hang in there community! We are strong, we are kind, we will prevail!!” Students will not be returning to campus for instruction at least for the rest of the semester.

Lucia Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

Distance learning will continue for at least the rest of the semester, Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) announced on Sept. 21. 

“It is with this information [regarding COVID-19 cases], and with our continued commitment to the safety of our students, families, and staff, that we announce the continuation of distance learning for the remainder of the semester through December 2020. As was outlined in our reopening plan earlier in the summer, our next checkpoint will be by November 30, 2020, to determine how we will start the second semester in January 2021,” the district wrote in an email to students on Sept. 21. 

SUHSD community members can view the metrics impacting this decision on the SUHSD website or YouTube channel. Although there is currently no reopening date planned for Bonita Vista High, according to SUHSD Board of Trustees President Nicholas Segura, all district schools will begin reopening at the same time once able. They will also follow the five-stage plan outlined by the district earlier in the year. 

“School reopenings depends on when we meet the criteria from the [California Department of Public Health] CDPH and SUHSD phased re-opening plan (on the district’s website). When we open it will be in small groups not school wide,” Segura said. “Students with special needs will more than likely be the first to return for support.”

According to Acting Superintendent Moises Aguirre’s message to SUHSD staff, the district “will continue to closely monitor this situation” and hopes “to reassess the possibility of phased in returns for programs such as athletics and visual and performing arts (VAPA).”

The district also stated they remain “committed to continuing to find ways that we can provide in-person services to some of our highest needs students” and suggested that “small group supports” may be possible in the future for those students in need. 

“I understand the extreme challenge and frustration being experienced by students, teachers, and families having to learn remotely. My daughter is a senior at Castle Park High (CPH) and thusly we [are] living through this first hand. I worry about our students who are missing out on positive social interaction, parenting and teaching at home are difficult for parents and our educators are working long hours to serve students and families. We need to ensure the safety of students, educators and our communities before we re-open. Basing re-opening on science and public health protocols from the CDPH, educators, school staff, healthcare experts and community input,” Segura said.