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DSUSD students react to school board vote to bring seniors back to campus four days a week

A proposal to bring all Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) students back onto its campus four days a week failed Tuesday night.

The school board did vote to bring the district's high school seniors back to campus four days a week.

“It's not completely hard but it's manageable," said Connor Tuck, a Palm Desert High School senior. "I mean, I'm just glad that we even have some bit of a senior year to go back”

Connor Tuck has found his momentum with his senior schedule. 

“We have two different cohorts," said Tuck. "Cohorts is like I go on Thursday and Friday while I'm online: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.” 

He’s currently learning in person at Palm Desert High School two days a week but that could change. 

Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent initially proposed that all in-person students be allowed back on campus four days a week before the end of the school year but that plan was rejected at Tuesday night’s board meeting. 

Instead, they decided to only allow seniors back in the classroom from two to four days a week. 

“I think it's neat that they're allowing the seniors to come back since it's our last year of high school," said Tuck. "I feel like they could have allowed our entire grades 9 through 12 to come back as well. I mean, as long as we're keeping our match protocols and like keeping our distance, I feel like things could work.” 

Caleb Vanbuskirk, a high school junior, is excited. 

“I got my hopes up a lot because I can see a lot of my friends and I can also bring up my grades as well as other kids in my class," said Vanbuskirk.

This possible plan means staff might have to switch gears once again in a year interrupted by the pandemic. 

“It's just such a short amount of time that they don't feel that there's a lot that can be accomplished," said Trina Gonzales-Alesi, a President of Desert Sands Teacher Association. "None of this has anything to do with not wanting to return to the classroom, not wanting to have students in the classroom, not wanting to provide a quality education.” 

The president of the teachers association explained they’re going to discuss these changes with the district. 


The school board’s plan to bring seniors back would start on May 3, a month before the last day of school. 

Students in TK through grade 11 will continue with their selected learning model.

District officials said if parents are looking for more answers to call the schools.

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Dani Romero

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