Orcutt Union School District preparing for potential re-opening

Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 07, 2020

Some school districts in Santa Barbara County are discussing plans to possibly re-open.

Orcutt Union School District officials say they have been discussing the possibility of re-opening schools for a hybrid instruction model but are still unsure when or if that will happen anytime soon.

"Is it safe for us to open, first and foremost. Safety is our first priority for our students and our staff and really our community," said Holly Edds, Orcutt Union School District Superintendent.

"While there are some definitely some benefits to in-person instruction, we also have to understand that it's not going to be business as usual and it's not going to look the same as what it has for years," Edds said.

It’s a tough call that school officials are working on with other partners and leaders to come up with a final decision.

One of those is the Orcutt Educators Association.

Teacher and President of the association, Monique Segura, says although she wants to see her children back in the classroom, the time is not right.

"School is a fun place and the fun part of the school we can't do. We won't be able to do the painting, we won't be able to send them out to recess in an old fashion way where they share the playground equipment and they share a ball," Segura said.

According to school officials, if students came back this year, a hybrid model would be put into place.

"We can only fit so many students in a classroom at a time so that's really where the hybrid has come about. We don't have space in our classrooms to have all of the students back in a single time," Edds said.

She also recognizes some parents won't feel comfortable sending their children back into the classroom.

"It's a hard call but based on the guidelines that we have to put in place, I just don't know if all the disruption is going to be worth what the students may be getting at a small time in the classroom,” Segura said.

School district officials met on Wednesday to discuss and potentially make a decision on whether schools in the district will be opening soon or waiting until after winter break.

If Santa Barbara County stays in the red COVID-19 tier, schools could open for in-person instruction next week.