The Coast News Group
distance learning

Escondido Unified extends pause on in-person learning

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Unified School District (EUSD) has decided to postpone the return of in-person learning until Feb. 2. Students were supposed to return to campus earlier this week after a month-long pause of on-campus instruction due to staffing.

In early December, EUSD temporarily suspended all in-person learning after a string of positive COVID-19 cases resulted in low staffing levels across the district.

Students were supposed to return to in-person learning on Jan. 12. At a special meeting Jan. 7, however, the board decided to push back on-campus instruction to at least Feb. 2.

This plan will be discussed further at the district’s board meeting on Jan. 21.

The board also voted to return phase one students to in-person instruction on Jan. 12, as planned, based on the availability of teaching and support staff members. This group includes special education students and the state preschool program.

“We recognize that this decision directly impacts our families, and we appreciate your continued support and patience as we continue to strive to provide your students with an exceptional learning experience in a safe and healthy environment,” the district said. “We remain focused on the goal of returning to normal in a full campus reopening when health and safety conditions permit.”

Distribution of no-cost, to-go meals will continue during the pause in on-campus instruction.

EUSD, which has more than 14,000 students, has seen roughly 300 positive COVID-19 cases since Sept. 28. In addition, 806 students and 226 staff members have had to quarantine for 14 days due to exposure to people who tested positive.

EUSD joins several other North County school districts that have also decided to postpone in-person instruction amid a countywide surge in COVID-19 cases. These include Escondido Union High School District, San Marcos Unified and San Dieguito Union High School District.