SANTA MARIA, Calif. – During a special meeting Monday night, the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Board of Education voted to bring all students back to campus for in-person learning. The students will return on a "50-percent hybrid model."
The decision to bring students back to campus was made based on "favorable COVID-19 data," a representative for the school district said. Santa Barbara County is currently in the 'Orange Tier' of the state's reopening plan, with a likely move into the state's least-restrictive tier coming in the near future.
School district superintendent Antonio Garcia said there was favorable input from teachers, staff, parents and students that contributed in the decision-making process.
“We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to bringing our students back to campus,’’ Garcia said. “I strongly believe COVID-19 prevention practices are the keys that will safely get us to the end of the term. Our decisions will continue to anchor on the principles of safety of students and staff, student learning and well-being, and equitable access to a quality program.’’
Ninth graders will return May 11, the school district said. Tenth and eleventh graders will return on May 18. Seniors have been on campus since April 20.
The last day of high school is June 10. Students can opt to remain in distance-learning through the rest of the school year.