Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Martha Deichler
BSUSD School-Community Liaison 

In-Person Schooling to Open


Last updated 9/11/2020 at 10:15am

Martha Deichler

BSUSD staff receives training in a high school classroom where wall has been removed to allow greater distancing between students.

Thermometers, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, masks, clear plastic barricades, distancing par excellence, outdoor classrooms and staggered lunch sessions – just some of the various strategies the Borrego Springs Unified School District is using to ensure the safety of its students and staff when in-person school begins in six weeks. All of this is happening in anticipation of the most unusual and unprecedented opening of schools in our history.

In the meantime, on Aug. 31, BSUSD's schools officially open with distance learning (via the Internet), a move necessary due to San Diego County's continued placement on the Monitoring List. Although it was declared recently that schools in San Diego County could open with in-person learning, the announcement came too late for our schools to change their course quickly.

The kindness of locals Sarah and Lee Rogers, as well as our Soroptimist Club, means that our students and staff will receive multiple homemade, creative and highly effective face masks when schools open for in-person learning on October 12. The Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego is generously gifting our 100 + Middle School students with new backpacks stuffed with smart and necessary school materials.

After the next six weeks of an improved and more accountable distance learning experience, our schools will offer a hybrid in-person school experience where half of each class will attend school in-person and half from home. This gradual introduction of students to the traditional classroom setting is meant to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Students' desks will be spaced six ft. apart and in the high school, walls have been removed to allow for classes to stay together with the mandatory six ft. separation. Students will remain in one classroom while teachers change classes, thereby decreasing the movement and social interaction of students. All surfaces will be disinfected daily and every precaution is being made to reduce the possible spread of the virus.

Staff has received multiple hours of in-service in COVID-19 safety standards, as well as Google Classroom procedures. Kudos go out to all staff for their flexibility and willingness to learn new methods of instructional delivery while following extreme safety standards.

Eventually, all students will return to the classroom, most likely around mid-November but this depends on the state's evaluation of the number of each county's COVID-19 cases. Regardless, we might be able to remain open for schooling if our local cases are low.

For now, let's all stay COVID-19 free and do all that we can to keep our cases low and manageable in Borrego Springs. This just might allow our schools to open completely with in-person learning. Our children need this desperately – especially those with no Internet and with non-English speaking parents for whom assistance to their children with on-line learning is nigh impossible. Our students cannot afford to lose another day of quality education.