San Diego Schools To Remain Online-Only To Begin Fall Semester

July 13, 2020

San Diego County, California’s second largest public school district, announced today that instruction will be remote-only this fall due to surging COVID-19 infections that pose far great a risk for students and teachers.

Both the Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, which combined enroll approximately 825,000 students, announced today plans for online-only classes when public schools reopen in August. This joint announcement came as the Trump administration continued to urge the reopening of public schools.

Amid spiking coronavirus cases, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) campuses will remain closed when classes resume next month, Superintendent Cindy Marten said today, defying President Donald Trump's demand that students return to in-person instruction. The SDUSD on Monday issued a joint statement with the Los Angeles Unified School District, in which the districts acknowledged that schools have successfully reopened in some parts of the world, but said the conditions are different locally.  

"One fact is clear - those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available," the statement announced. "California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control."  

The districts said planning will continue for an eventual return to in-person classes, but no timeline was provided. In the meantime, teachers will be given "expanded training in online education,'' and students will receive training "to become better online learners."  SDUSD will begin remote course work as scheduled on August 31. The school district will continue to provide free meals for students at the current distribution stations.  

"Our leaders owe it to all of those impacted by the COVID-19 closures to increase the pace of their work," continues the joint statement. "No one should use the delay in the reopening of classrooms as a reason to relax. The coronavirus has not taken a summer vacation, as many had hoped. Indeed, the virus has accelerated its attacks on our community."  

San Diego Unified will provide a public assessment on August 10 of how soon a physical return to class might be possible. That assessment will be based on local measures of whether the virus is sufficiently under control, as well as progress on testing and federal action on funding. On the same day, San Diego Unified will outline the physical measures planned for each school to guard against the pandemic and detail the online learning program for the 2020- 21 academic year.

This is a developing story. We will update this post as we learn more.