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After deciding to delay the start of the school year by two weeks, the district plans on resuming classes on Aug. 25. File photo
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EUHSD announces two-model plan for resuming classes

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) school board approved a two-model plan for the upcoming school year, which lets families choose between a full-time distance-learning plan or a two-day hybrid-learning model.

The board met on July 14 and decided on providing their students with two options. The first is Independent Study through Edgenuity, a completely online learning platform, and the second is a Two-Day Blended Model where students attend classes two full days on campus each week and attend classes virtually through Canvas, a learning management system, for the other three days.

After deciding to delay the start of the school year by two weeks citing current health conditions, the district plans on resuming classes on Aug. 25.

The board also voted, however, to begin the school year for both models completely virtually, meaning online learning will continue through the district’s first grading period, Sept. 25.

April Moore, the assistant superintendent of educational services at EUHSD, told The Coast News that until then, the board will continue to evaluate if the district will, in fact, be ready to shift from fully distanced learning to the blended model once Sept. 25 rolls around.

“Our two priorities in developing our plans have been safety and flexibility,” Moore said. “The plans developed represent a culmination of extensive stakeholder support including student voice, parent advisories, staff and administrative input. Overall, our staff members, parents, and community have been appreciative of our frequent and transparent communication.”

She added that students and families who choose the Two-Day Blended Model may decide to remain in distance learning after Sept. 25 even if the class becomes available on campus two days each week.

“We believe that safety is of critical importance for all members of our school district community, including our students and their families and our staff and their families,” Moore said. “We believe that in-person learning should be the goal and conducted if and when it can be done so with safe conditions.”

The district also outlined plans to implement face-covering requirements, social distancing measures, health screening procedures, increased sanitation protocols and staff training measures if and when in-person learning resumes.

EUHSD’s decision came only a couple of days before California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement of his pandemic plan for California’s schools.

Newsom’s plan centers on five key areas including the use of local health data to determine when to resume in-person leaning, mask requirements, physical distancing, regular testing and rigorous distance learning.

“Learning is non-negotiable,” Newsom said during his announcement. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open — and when it must close — but learning should never stop. Students, staff, and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction, but only if it can be done safely.”

The plan also says that schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days. San Diego County is currently on the state’s Monitoring List.

For details on EUHSD’s two-model plan, visit: EUHSD.org.

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