SANTA MARIA — The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is eyeing the presence of COVID-19 before making reopening plans.
“In the near future, as our county and local COVID case rates continue to decline, and we approach the red tier, we will be communicating about the potential reopening of school to in-person instruction,” Superintendent Antonio Garcia told the News-Press.
He has not yet notified staff of the potential to reopen, like districts such as Santa Barbara Unified that alerted staff to ensure they can open as soon as rates decline.
Assembly Bill 86, which was passed by California lawmakers Thursday, sets aside $4.6 billion for districts’ learning-loss-mitigation projects over the next 18 months.
AB86 also requires districts in the red tier to reopen at least one secondary school grade level. It is unclear how this would affect Santa Maria Joint Union because it is a high school district.
“(State assistance) is not what is going to drive our decision. Our decision is based on the principles of student and staff safety and student learning and wellbeing,” Superintendent Garcia said.
Board members agreed upon a hybrid model of instruction, which splits students’ weeks into on-campus and distance learning days.
— Annelise Hanshaw