ORCUTT, Calif. - Elementary students within the Orcutt Union School District can finally gear up for in-person learning after the Board of Trustees approved the change during a special board meeting Monday night.
Parents assembled outside the school district facility earlier in the day to show support for reopening schools, and their calls were heard.
The trustees said grades TK through sixth at all schools within the district will transition to in-person instruction using a phased model over the course of two weeks. This transition will begin at the trimester break.
Earlier in the year, the district had parents select an instructional model option in preparation for Blended Learning. These hybrid learning models divide students into two cohorts (A and B) so that they are able to follow physical distancing protocols when entering a classroom. Each cohort will meet on different days of the week.
All students and staff will be required to follow health safety protocols and the district's COVID Safety Plan. This includes wearing masks, physical distancing, washing and/or sanitizing hands frequently and completing a daily health screening.
Each school in the district has also prepared a video outlining what daily procedures will look like and what parents and students can expect when returning in-person. These videos can be found on individual schools' web pages.
Each grade level will begin in-person learning on the following dates:
- Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten - March 9
- Grades 1 and 2 Cohort A - March 11
- Grades 1 and 2 Cohort B - March 12
- Grades 3 and 4 Cohort A - March 16
- Grades 3 and 4 Cohort B - March 17
- Grades 5 and 6 Cohort A - March 18
- Grades 5 and 6 Cohort B - March 19
"We are so glad the case counts in Santa Barbara County continue to decline and we are able to open for in-person learning for our elementary students. We are hopeful the trend will continue, and we will be able to offer in-person learning for our junior high and high school students soon," said Superintendent Dr. Holly Edds. "We look forward to having students back on our campuses, they are the reason we chose this profession and we can't wait to see them in person. We also cotinue to advocate for vaccination of our teachers and staff who are working with students in-person. This is an important step in keeping our entire community safe."
The district said distance learning will remain an option for families who would prefer to stay away from the classroom.
More information about the decision can be found on the school district's website www.orcuttschools.net.