With the number of cases of COVID-19 going down, some local families are hopeful that will bode well for the reopening schools.
Some parents in Encinitas, however, fear it could be too little too late if they wait any longer and have started a petition to return full-time to classrooms.
Currently, students in the Encinitas Union School District are home two days a week doing virtual learning and go to school for in-person instruction two days a week. The petition is asking the district to open five days a week for in-person instruction and not wait until the county is out of the purple tier to do it.
The district could expand its Phase 3 plan and allow elementary school students to return to school five days a week now because the schools had opened before the county moved to the purple tier.
According to the district’s Phase 3 plan as it is now, however, it would wait until the county is in the red tier — and stays there for at least two weeks — before returning full-time. That would mean the adjusted case rate would be 7 per 100,000.
The families who started the petition point out that only Hawaii has a case rate that low, adding that, even with the case rate dropping, they fear that reaching the benchmark necessary to move to the red tier and stay there will take too long, possibly preventing students from returning to full-time in-person learning this year.
Instead, the petitioners are proposing a compromise: They want the district to consider expanding to Phase 3 when case rates are 25 per 100,000, the rate needed for elementary schools to reopen if they had not been opened before the county moved to purple tier. That would be more attainable, they say.
Parent David Davis, who signed the petition, admits he does not know much about case rates, regulations and tiers. but he believes it is safe to send his children to school five days a week.
“They are back two days a week now,” Davis said, “Why not five?”