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Santa Maria Valley school administrators meet to discuss fall plans

Santa Maria Valley school administrators meet to discuss fall plans
Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 13:57:59-04

School superintendents in the Santa Maria Valley met Wednesday to discuss their plans for the start of the school year this fall.

Though no decision was made, the options being considered are:
- classes in person
- classes fully online
- or classes in a hybrid or blended model.

"I would love it if they could go back to school.. like it was in January, that would be a perfect situation, but I know that that's not the case," Allison Smith has a student at Orcutt Junior High.

Online learning is a reality she and many other parents are facing.

Schools as they sit right now look like ghost towns, though school administrators say they have not gone anywhere.

"We talk about reopening schools, I don't think that's really an accurate term because we never actually closed," Santa Maria-Bonita School District Superintendent Luke Ontiveros said during the meeting to discuss the plans for the fall.

The option for in-person schooling is favorable among many parents, but concerns for going back too soon are also a concern.

Either way, parents say both teachers and district officials have been supportive.

"So for example, English, they suggested he work on your English on Mondays and Wednesdays in the mornings, and your science on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning," Smith said.

One teacher said the challenges of online learning actually could be beneficial in the long run, but it needs to be consistent.

"We don't want to be going from brick and mortar to online to brick and mortar. We don't want to be flipping these kids back and forth," Anna Zucker, an Orcutt Junior High School science teacher, said.

A major factor in the decision making is that many of these districts share students and staff at different programs, so the goal is to have a format that is complementary of other districts in the area.

Santa-Maria Bonita School District does not anticipate to make a formal announcement until after its next board meeting on July 22.