Lompoc Unified School District has moved the start date for the 2020-21 school year back to Aug. 17, and the district will open the new year by utilizing a distance learning model for all students, LUSD officials announced Friday.
The changes were based on the most current COVID-19 information from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the California Department of Education and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to LUSD.
“Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff,” LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald said. “Optimally, we would bring all students back five days a week. However, we must adhere to the guidelines provided by SBCPH and ensure students and staff are safe when they return.”
“We will continue to monitor and adjust as needed,” he added, “with our ultimate goal being to have students back to school with the conventional five days a week in the classroom.”
LUSD, which had pushed the first day of school to Aug. 31 before reversing that decision Friday, will be providing staff continuous professional development opportunities so that teachers and students feel supported with distance learning, the district reported.
“We recognize that the distance learning model is not the most convenient for most families,” said Bree Valla, LUSD’s deputy superintendent. “In order to assist our families, LUSD is working with the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to identify child care and ASES opportunities for elementary students.”
District leaders said they will look into modifying the distance learning plan after coronavirus case numbers have declined.
“We will transition first to a hybrid model and ultimately back to our traditional instructional model once it is safe to do so,” McDonald said. “Our three most important considerations remain quality instruction, feeding our students, and student and staff safety.”
For more information on LUSD, visit lusd.org.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
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