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Santa Maria Valley school superintendents discussed similar reopening options

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The superintendents from Santa Maria Bonita, Santa Maria Joint Union, Guadalupe Union, and Orcutt Union school districts described similar ideas including all virtual learning, all in-person learning or a blended approach.

The number one concern: health and safety.

"So we’ve been meeting weekly with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. They provided us with their updates, their direction and requirements and how best to do that," said Luke Ontiveros with the Santa Maria-Bonita School District.

They're also keeping three principles in mind while making a decision.

"Number one, of course the health and safety of students and staff members. And two, is our student learning and well-being. And number three, having equitable access to a high-quality program. Really those three principles need to continue to be at the core of the decisions that we make," said Antonio Garcia, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

But the superintendents emphasize the process is a marathon and not a sprint.

"Going to have to prepare and plan accordingly but also trying to make sure we’re looking at this challenge that’s not a short-term problem," said Emilio Handall with the Guadalupe Union School District.

Collaboration is a key part of the process since families tend to be in multiple districts throughout the area.

"Not only do we share families but we also share staff members," said Holly Edds with the Orcutt Union School District.

Each district will make a final decision on plans during school board meetings.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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