SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria Joint Union High School District discussed whether to hold classes on campuses in fall at a board meeting Tuesday night.
Originally, the board was going to vote to approve a hybrid model of campus and remote learning. But within the past couple of weeks, district officials decided they also needed to strongly consider a remote model too.
This is because of rapidly changing circumstances surrounding rising cases of the coronavirus.
They decided to continue the discussion and approve plans at a special meeting on July 23.
Either way, the board thinks the schools will use both hybrid and remote models at different points of the year.
The hybrid model involves Monday as a flex day, with half of students attending class physically and half remotely alternating days the rest of the week.
The other model they are now developing is a fully remote model. All students would have the opportunity to study fully remotely if they choose.
Board members expressed differing concerns for starting with both models.
"I'm not going to say I'm going to be able to support any plan that involves um students going into a closed classroom," Dr. Carol Karamitsos, a board member. She expressed concern that the HVAC concerns are not of a medical grade for coronavirus respiratory droplets.
"I would like us try to start with some sort of hybrid," said Dominick Palera, a board member. "If something picks up, go to the virtual learning. At least the student would have had contact with a teacher."
Any on campus model will involve several modifications.
All students and staff would need to wear masks. All classrooms and buses would be kept at 50 percent capacity. Temperatures would be taken before entering buildings or buses. All are required to use hand sanitizer before entering a space.
One of the priorities will be professional development of staff for use of technology.
The district will also provide wifi hot spots for families without them. They estimate that need to be more than six percent of families.