SMUSD Prepares for Reopening

As the county heads into the red tier SMUSD prepares for reopening their secondary schools


Photo by Katelyn Mandell

After a year of distance learning, SMUSD campuses will finally be open for students to return.

For nearly a year, SMUSD students have been using distance learning to continue their education during the pandemic, however, rumors of secondary schools reopening have begun to circulate the virtual classrooms.
On March 23rd, students in the A Cohort will be able to experience their first day back on campus in over a year, with the B cohort following shortly after. The reason why we are finally able to return to in-person learning is that, two weeks ago, San Diego county reached the red tier (seven or fewer cases per hundred thousand people). With multiple COVID-19 vaccines now available, the county only needed 10 or fewer cases per hundred thousand people to reach the red tier. For freshmen or other students who aren’t familiar with campus yet, tours were held earlier this week. They also have new guided tour videos and campus maps available to them as well.
“I believe what students can do now to prepare them for the return to campus is what I believe we always need to do all year long, which is to be patient with ourselves and each other. Everyone is coming from different places and comfort levels with everything that is going on, so just to be aware of that and please know that where you are with all of this is ok. This is a process that we will get through together one day at a time,” said Counselor Cherryl Baker.
On cohort days, it will surely feel strange to be working on assignments outside of the comfort of our homes. With that said, there are a series of actions all students can take to be ready to tackle in-person education as well as all the challenges that come with it. Students and parents should have received an email from the principal regarding our transition to hybrid learning. This email includes instructions on how to fill out your waivers and navigate Lumisight, an app that helps track your daily COVID symptoms.
Freshman and transfer students who have never been to class on campus before will still have access to campus tours on Monday the 22nd and assistance from students and teachers to help them with their first day of in-person school. These helper students and staff can be heavily relied on to help make the school day go smoother and allow for less confusion than there already will be. Keep in mind that going back to school will be completely different for everyone. Whether you’re a senior who has been at Mission Hills for four years or a freshman who has never attended a public school before, everyone is going to feel a little lost so you’re not alone.
School events on- and off-campus have been a big question mark for this entire year. According to SMUSD governing board President Stacy Carlson, as we go back, we will be able to host student events and socialize, but it will look a lot different from what we’re used to with the use of masks and the practice of social distancing.
“It’s a lot different from what we’re used to but the idea is that any bit of being on campus and being able to get in-person instruction from your teacher and being able to see your friends and have some sort of normalcy is the most important and critical thing for kids,” said SMUSD Governing Board President Stacy Carlson.
There are many questions about returning to school in the Fall and how that will look, but, unfortunately, we don’t have many answers right now, however, there will be another public board meeting on Monday, March 22.