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By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

Singh updates FUESD board on reopening plans

 

Last updated 6/25/2020 at 2:56pm

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District office is located at 321 Iowa Street, across from the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County on Ivy Street.

Candace Singh, superintendent of Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, gave an update to the district's governing board at its Tuesday, June 19, meeting on how plans for potentially reopening in the fall are coming along.

Singh said while the district is surveying parents on their preferences – 95% of parents, she said, want their children to be back in school to the highest degree possible – things are tricky because of differences between California Department of Public Health and California Department of Education guidelines on opening schools back up.

"They're not consistent with each other and now what we're looking forward to is San Diego public health guidelines for reopening school," Singh said. "That is really going to be the governing guidelines because it is within the county, but one of the things I have the opportunity to do is I am working and leading the board of superintendents to get some consensus about the guidance, and we talk things through every week because as you know, just as citizens, it's very confusing and it's very inconsistent, which makes opening schools very challenging."

The San Diego County Office of Education did put out guidance June 17, two days after the meeting, calling for symptom screening, changing classroom layouts to help social distancing, face coverings, frequent cleaning and restricting access to visitors.

Singh said she and other superintendents are trying to juggle student and staff safety with families' needs to have children back in school.

"We know that kids being at home and not coming back to school is not what's best for them educationally, socially and emotionally," Singh said. "We're looking to create plans for each one of our school districts that prioritizes safety but also know that being back in school to the highest degree possible is going to be really important for them. So it's a balance that we're trying to achieve."

Another challenge will be keeping an eye on public health data as planning for reopening progresses.

"There are regions in this county who have virtually no impact right now, and then there are others who have very high impact, and so that comes into play with what the reopening plans are," Singh said.

Singh said the district in its surveys also recorded a large minority of parents who would be interested in homeschooling.

"We have 23 to 25% of our families who are interested in full-time home schooling, but not fully knowing what the options are yet ... .this is a phenomenon that's happening across the county," Singh said. "This is a very consistent number, 20 to 25% across the county. That number could go down depending on what the opening plan would be."

Singh said the district planned to continue surveying parents to identify who would be interested in homeschooling and whether the percentage who are interested will decline as reopening plans are released.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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