San Diego School Leaders Affirm Reopening Plans to be Based on Science, Research

Expert Panel to Plan for School Reopening Conditions

July 9, 2020

In response to recent comments by President Donald Trump and the rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in California, leaders from San Diego Unified and the San Diego Education Association met today and agreed the timing, restrictions, and guidelines for physically reopening schools will be based on scientific information and medical decisions. They agreed to convene a committee of health experts to meet with representatives from the district and SDEA in order to “determine guidelines, restrictions and timing for a safe physical reopening of our schools.”

At the request of San Diego Unified and the San Diego Education Association, the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) has agreed to contribute to the safety review. Home to some of the world’s leading authorities on pediatrics, public health, infectious disease and airborne transmission, UCSD will provide the academic and scientific experts necessary to support the safe reopening of schools.

“Our partnership with San Diego Unified goes back many years, and includes the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program for students from underserved communities,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “We are pleased to be able to support this collaboration between San Diego Unified and SDEA to protect the health and safety of the more than 100,000 students they serve.”

Following the discussions today, San Diego Unified and SDEA issued the following joint statement:

"As we continue to work together to plan for the 2020-2021 school year, the first priority for educators and administrators continues to be the health and safety of our students, staff, families and community. We note with alarm the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases throughout California. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to affirm that we will only resume on-site learning when it is safe to do so. The decision to resume on-site learning will be made only after extensive conversations and collaboration with public health officials, health experts, our educators, staff, and administrators. Together, we will provide for a safe and educationally enriching return to student learning, whether online or in person, on Aug. 31, 2020."