Graphic made by: Brigit Fitzgerald
On Nov. 16 Ventura County entered the purple tier once again and is in lockdown as a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases after the thanksgiving holiday. The secondary schools will have to make changes if they plan to open up at the end of January.
According to COVID19.CA.GOV, while on lockdown, some of the restrictions include prohibiting gatherings and restaurants are only open for takeout and delivery.
Ventura County has to be out of the purple tier for two or more weeks in order to allow in-person learning for students at the end of January. If they do, the secondary schools would be on a hybrid schedule.
The hybrid schedule for the Ventura County secondary schools has been inconclusive since November. Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Ventura Unified, Dr. Greg Bayless said, “The Distance Learning Committee started meeting in spring of 2020 and they met through summer to design our current distance learning schedule.”
Ventura County high schools are expecting to go back to in-person hybrid learning on Jan. 26, the start of the next semester. If the schools choose to go back, it would be in hybrid learning format. The hybrid system for students would mean attending school in-person twice a week, either on Monday and Tuesday, or Thursday and Friday.
If schools do go back on Jan. 26, it will be very different because of the new regulations. One of the regulations include mandatory use of face masks for students and staff. Another change the district will have to make concerns transportation, a service which many families in the district rely upon.
“We can’t fill a bus, we have to have six feet of social distancing in the bus, so that means busses would be running at 33% capacity,” Bayless said.
Another regulation includes smaller class sizes in order to practice proper social distancing policies. About a third of a class would go to in-person learning at a time while the remaining students will join the live class session on zoom.
“You aren’t removed and given to another teacher or program,” said Bayless. “You are a part of what your teacher is doing.”
If students are signed up for in-person hybrid learning for the second semester, they would not be going back to school every day. They would be a part of group A or group B. Group A goes to school on Mondays and Tuesdays and group B goes to school on Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, the Social Emotional Learning classes would still be on zoom.
As of Sunday, December 6, Ventura County has been put back on complete lockdown. According to COVID19.CA.GOV, while on lockdown, some of the restrictions include prohibiting gatherings and restaurants are only open for takeout and delivery. The Regional Stay Home Order doesn’t necessarily impact secondary schools. According to KCRA3, “Schools could remain open, based on decisions by local governments.
If students do return to the classroom for the second semester, it will be vastly different with the restrictions and changes that will be implemented. However, all of these changes and restrictions are to keep the students and staff safe, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.