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SMBSD superintendent to propose transitioning to blended learning model when appropriate

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 17:44:04-04

Students in the Santa Maria Bonita School District will likely also be starting the new school year through distance learning.

Superintendent Luke Ontiveros notified staff members Friday, prior to the governor's announcement, that he plans to recommend to the board on Wednesday that students and staff begin with distance learning and transition to blended learning when deemed appropriate by local health officials.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday that schools could not resume in-person learning until they were off the state's monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.

Santa Barbara County has been on the watch list for weeks and cases continue to increase.

"When the decision to close school campuses and initiate distance learning was made in March, there was one confirmed case of COVID-19 in all of Santa Barbara County. Yesterday, July 16, 2020--four months and one day after that first positive result in the County--there were 224 positive results (in one day) reported by Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health, 112 of which were in the city of Santa Maria. From a public health perspective, the situation has gotten much worse rather than better over the past four months, which was not the hope at the time school campuses were closed," according to a press release.

Wednesday's meeting begins at 5 p.m. and can be viewed on the district's Facebook page, website and YouTube.

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