Written by Sebastian Acosta
In an effort to address the needs and grievances of students, and as a response to the protracted school shutdowns, parents from five local school districts have banded together to form the Parent Association of North County San Diego.
The organization includes members from Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside, and Vista Unified School Districts, as well as San Dieguito Union High School District.
The primary goal of members is to work with school administrators and teachers to reopen schools as efficiently as possible.
“How can we influence decision-making so that kids can choose to go back to school now. Out of that conversation, we needed to realize that we need to share our resources and our stories, and put a lens on the decisions to put students first,” said Ginny Merrifield, a founding member of the organization.
Merrifield also commented on the struggle teachers, parents, and students have had with virtual learning and indefinite school shutdowns.
“Distance learning is a completely inadequate method of teaching”, he said. “It wasn’t ever designed to be a long-term solution. But here we are, going on a year with kids in virtual learning.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom has priorities of reopening classrooms for the youngest students, but the effect of closed campuses on adolescents and teens has been overlooked by school officials, said Scott Davidson, a founding member of the organization Families for Opening Carlsbad Schools.
“There is a huge disconnect with the effect on these students, who crave social interaction, and want to be with their friends, and are entering young adulthood, he said.”
The Parent Association aims to represent students across a wider geographical area on issues beyond the scope of the current pandemic.
Photo via Lusardi Construction