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A look inside what DSUSD students and parents can expect going back to school

Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) is one of four districts in Riverside County with approved COVID-19 prevention plans. This means, students will be gearing up to go back into the classroom.

Four school districts already have safety-plan approvals from the county and state approval is anticipated.

  • Desert Sands Unified School District
  • Corona-Norco Unified School District
  • Palo Verde Valley Unified School District
  • Murrieta Valley Unified School District

On Tuesday, the state revealed that Riverside County adjusted case rate was 16.6. The threshold is 25.

The county's adjusted case rate for new COVID-19 cases dropped below a threshold that will allow for these school to reopen transitional kindergarten through sixth grade education.

"School as we knew it is going to look different when our students come back to in person learning,” said DSUSD superintendent Scott Bailey.

Students could find themselves back in classrooms as early as March 15th but things will look different. When you enter a building for example, you will be asked to remain at a socially distanced pace,” said Bailey. Students will also be walking in single directions to avoid face-to-face contact and will be split up in small groups, or cohorts, with hybrid learning. There will be two main cohorts. Cohort A will go into school Monday and Tuesday and Cohort B will be in classrooms Thursday and Friday.

Face coverings for students and staff will be mandatory with classroom seating six feet apart. “We can still have recess, an organized recess, again where students don’t cross cohorts,” said Bailey. There will also be a self health check students do before getting to campus. “We want it to be as social as possible but as responsible as possible,” said Bailey.

As for busses, students will be socially distanced and wear face coverings. There will also be more frequent cleanings on the busses.

Another difference comes with COVID-19 testing being available to students with the consent of parents. “We usually talk about testing with a pencil or computer. In this situation the new guidelines require us to offer testing for COVID to our students,” said Bailey.

Superintendent Bailey said 40% of the students will be kept on at home learning with parents opting out of returning to the classroom. “Even if you’re on distance learning we can continue meal service and providing you an education online,” added Bailey.

For grades six through twelve, re-opening will be considered once Riverside County reaches the red tier.

Check Out: Today's data, including more on metrics nearing the Red Tier

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Taban Sharifi

Taban Sharifi is a Meteorologist and Reporter with KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News & Weather Leader. Learn more about Taban here.

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