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School districts prepare to go fully remote after announcement by Gov. Newsom

Los Angeles, San Diego school districts will start the year with online-only classes
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 11:15:02-04

Many local school districts are now having to adapt their re-opening plans following Friday's announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Most districts say they were preparing for the possibility of going fully remote because of the COVID-19 concerns but now have to set any other plans they had aside.

"We are now putting forth guidelines that say schools can physically open for in-person education when the county that they are operating in has been off our monitoring list for 14 consecutive days,” Gov. Newsom said.

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties remain on that watch list which means the ability to physically re-open campuses for in-person instruction is not possible for now.

Lompoc Unified originally had plans to re-open using a hybrid model which meant students could be on campus at least two days a week.

"Obviously, with the recommendations from the governor today, that's not possible and so we are adjusting and going into a fully remote model," said LUSD Deputy Superintendent Bree Valla.

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District also has to take another look at any previous plans they made.

Superintendent Luke Ontiveros said he understands distance learning isn't the best option for most students.

"I know that this recommendation is the best decision in terms of public health but that it is not optimal for the learning expectations of our students and families," Ontiveros said.

Some parents agree but say now is the time to get creative so students can make it through.

"Be creative, you know. I think that's the best advice I can ever give is to be creative with your work and their education and, you know, remain hopeful," said mom Jenell Navarro.

A tough decision many of these school districts and parents are trying to grapple with, but as both counties remain on the state watch list, in-person instruction will not be an option.

Other school districts like Lucia Mar and San Luis Coastal had already decided to begin the year virtually.

Following Friday’s announcement, Lompoc Unified moved up its start date for the new school year by two weeks to August 17.