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PVUSD delaying decision on school re-opening plan; parents weigh in

pajaro valley unified school district

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION) A decision has yet to be made by the Pajaro Valley Unified School District on what the re-opening of school will look like in the fall.

Several options are being weighed, including all distant learning, a hybrid model and all students in-person while following health guidelines.

A recent survey polled 4,473 parents, students and teachers in the district. Almost 40% wanted to physically be at school with social distancing. A nearly identical percentage wanted to do a combination of distance learning and in person schooling. Only 15% was in favor of strictly distance learning.

Balancing health risks, educational growth and mental stability is the daunting task Pajaro Valley Unified and schools across the country face. Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez says the key is to be flexible.

“This plan assumes we’ll have to pivot and change with conditions,” Rodriguez said.

The idea of distance learning is growing more popularity among some as cases spike.

“I was under the mindset of 'we’ll probably have to distance learn right away, and then as things calm down go to medium level maybe around Christmas or the beginning of the year,” PVUSD parent Barbara Hammond said.

Another parent, Angela Mendenhall argues there are many struggling families out there that need their kids at school to continue to put food on the table, so they should be first priority heading back.

“There are kids that are at risk for a variety of things, and parents that are at risk of losing jobs. If we started by eliminating kids that don’t need to be at school that would automatically cut the population of our school probably in half,” Mendenhall said.

The superintendent said all students benefit from in person learning, but there has to be a plan for each scenario.

“The most important thing is now we have both of the plans, whether it's the hybrid or distance learning we know what we’ll be doing,” Rodriquez said.

The board of trustees for the school district are expected to make a decision on July 29.

Education / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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