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Additional Support To Classrooms

NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Provides Additional Support To Classrooms Due to Statewide Substitute Teacher Shortage and Spread of Omicron Variant
Posted on 01/14/2022

SAN DIEGO– San Diego Unified School District has outlined plans to begin moving additional educators into classrooms due to the statewide substitute teacher shortage and the spread of the Omicron variant. The district announced it will invoke Administrative Procedure 7293, adopted in the late 1960s and designed to help schools cope with severe staffing shortages. These new measures are being taken to keep schools open.

“We continue to believe that school is the best place for students to be,” the district said in a letter to families. “This has been demonstrated by multiple studies showing students are actually safer in school than in communities where the virus is widespread.”

Calling the current situation a severe challenge for all school districts, San Diego Unified cautioned parents, “[W]e want to be transparent about the fact your student(s) will very likely experience one or more of the following over the next few weeks, while COVID-19 is surging and these special measures are in place: Supervision by substitutes or centralized personnel; Class work in a “learning lab,” or study hall type of environment; and, Instructional time replaced by self-paced activities.”

Among the other measures taken to keep schools open, the district has:

  • Called for the cancellation of any non-essential activities that remove teachers and staff from classrooms, such as trainings and professional development.
  • Established a rapid return-to-work testing station to help clear employees quickly after positive tests and/or close contacts.
  • Cancelled non-essential indoor activities such as field trips, school assemblies and dances.
  • Delivered thousands of N95, or similar style masks to schools, and expanded mask enforcement.
  • Announced that schools, when appropriate, would move students outdoors during good weather, and into large indoor spaces.

These are temporary measures required by the pandemic, and employing these strategies will allow San Diego Unified to keep classrooms open.

All absences due to illness or mental and emotional stress will be treated as excused at this time, and students out for any of these reasons will be able to make up any missed assignments.

Should all of these measures fail at any given school, the district said it would work with local health and education authorities to declare a “COVID Impact Day” at that school (similar to heat days.)

MEDIA CONTACT: Communications Director Maureen Magee, [email protected], (619) 381-7930.