San Diego and Los Angeles Unified School Districts Beginning School Year Online

Written by Julianne Foster

San Diego and Los Angeles Unified School Districts announced in a joint statement that they would be fully online for the fall semester. While Gov. Newsom has shifted back and forth in dictating the reopenings and closures of businesses and recreational services, the decisions of how schools should operate has been heavily debated.

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

The closure of campuses of the two largest school districts in California is no surprise as educational leaders follow Newsom in wanting to halt people from returning to their normal routines in the name of safety. This is quite restrictive in comparison to their original plan in June of allowing students [who choose to] return to campuses August 31, while giving other concerned students the option of learning online.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond expressed concern about the impact that closing schools will have, beyond just potential learning stagnation.

These are valid problems to be aware of as students in bad home situations may be exposed to many issues without the ability to escape and seek help as they normally could at school.

Closing campuses will continue putting pressure on parents who are now forced to be home and help their children with school, while also attempting to keep a steady income. Students across the nation experienced the hardships of getting a quality education when classes were switched to online at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must take this time now to continue to develop a more functional, equitable and robust system of distance learning and we are fully committed to doing so,” said San Diego Education Association President Kisha Borden. “We must also continue to fight for the resources and support we need from the federal government, not just for our schools and students but also for our communities.”

Despite the many questions and concerns that students have, the district was able to confirm they would follow their normal school schedules and teachers would receive training to reach their students needs in hopes of offering a better education than they experienced in the spring.