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Lompoc Unified moves up start date of new school year; hybrid-learning model is put on hold

School will begin Aug. 17
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Posted at 1:52 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 16:56:16-04

Reopening plans have been adjusted for schools in the Lompoc Unified School District following Governor Gavin Newsom's announcement Friday.

The district had originally planned on a hybrid-learning model, where students would only go to class a few days a week and learn from home the rest of the week.

Now, due to Santa Barbara County being on the state's watchlist, all districts in Santa Barbara County must begin the school year with distance learning unless they have been off the state's monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.

"Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff. Optimally, we would bring all students back five days a week. However, we must adhere to the guidelines provided by SBCPH and ensure students and staff are safe when they return," said Superintendent Trevor McDonald in a press release. "We will continue to monitor and adjust as needed, with our ultimate goal being to have students back to school with the conventional five days a week in the classroom.

Additionally, the start date for the first day of school in the Lompoc Unified School District has been moved to Aug. 17, two weeks earlier than the Aug. 31 start date announced by the district last month.

"We recognize that the distance learning model is not the most convenient for most families. In order to assist our families, LUSD is working with the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to identify childcare and ASES opportunities for elementary students," said Bree Valla, Deputy Superintendent.

Once COVID-19 case numbers in the county begin to decline, district officials say they will look at modifying the distance learning plan.

"We will transition first to a hybrid model and ultimately back to our traditional instructional model once it is safe to do so." McDonald said. "Our three most important considerations remain quality instruction, feeding our students, and student and staff safety." He went on to request that "families continue to check the LUSD website for updated details. As we are all currently experiencing, guidelines change continually and as they do we will update our website with timely information."

Phone calls went out to parents Friday afternoon, directing them to the district's website for additional information on the new reopening plans.