BREAKING NEWS: A Tentative Timeline to Return to School Remains Just that, Tentative


Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education

The tentative calendar that showed a possible reopening plan for all grade levels in SAUSD is in question again.

Jeanette Bustos, Staff Writer

With a one-page letter from Superintendent Jerry Almendarez posted on social media and sent to SAUSD students’ parents on Oct. 28, the opening of school is in question once again.

The Tentative Timeline was an idea presented by the Santa Ana Unified Board of Education on Sept. 22nd representing the ideal dates for return to a safe in-person instruction hybrid for Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) students. SAUSD has a plan for the reopening of schools at each grade level in phases.

The original phase with TK/K students returning to in-person instruction was to begin on Nov. 2. Other grade levels would return in the following weeks with grades first through third on Nov. 16 and grades fourth and fifth on Nov. 30.

But Almendarez stated in his letter that “COVID-19 positivity rates in parts of Santa Ana remain above the state’s identified threshold. Using this data, we will not be able to resume in-person instruction in a hybrid model for our primary students beginning in November as previously stated.” 

“Learning Labs” will be offered first to students with internet connectivity issues on select campuses beginning Nov. 9. 

Daniel Flores, who attends Jim Thorpe Fundamental Elementary School as a second grader is eager to return to in-person class instruction.

Flores said, “I miss my friends. I wish I was at school and could see my teacher in person. Learning online is harder.”

Flores is not the only one. 

Flores’ mother, Yeraldet, is glad to be working from home alongside her son to provide the guidance and support that her son is not receiving from his teacher. 

And although her son yearns to return to school she will keep him learning from home virtually until Yeraldet said, “the safety standards are well met.”

The return to school in a hybrid model remains unguaranteed based on the community health conditions. It is crucial to note that parents will have the option for their children to remain online or or return to school with the hybrid model.  

According to the timeline, students in intermediate and high school level are expected to return to hybrid learning at the start of next year in January. But now those plans are on hold.

As Almendarez stated in his letter that there are not, “specific dates at this time as this pandemic has forced us to remain fluid in our planning.”

Godinez Fundamental High School senior, Daniela Alas, is upset that she isn’t getting the senior year she envisioned. 

“The current circumstances are very unfortunate and even more as a senior having to lose one of our most important years along with the memorable experiences,” said Alas.

Alas continued, “Even though virtual learning has its advantages, it can also be very stressful.”

Alas is a visual learner and is more engaged when she is in a classroom, so she is ready to go back as soon as possible.

The new timeline’s tentative dates for returning to school are now to start in January with TK/K students starting now in January.

But the start can change accordingly due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. 

For now, students continue to learn safely at home and wait, and wait, and wait for news of schools reopening.