Two groups of parents rallied outside of the Desert Sands Unified School District office building on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
One group was asking for the school to revise their hybrid model, set to begin on Nov. 9, saying the proposed plan did not include temperature checks, COVID tests for staff returning to school or barriers around student work spaces.
The second group is asking for the district to reopen the schools completely since the county has been in the red tier successfully for two weeks, meaning schools have the state’s approval to begin in-person education.
But on Tuesday, the Riverside County Health advisor warned schools who plan to reopen that they may be heading back to the purple, most restrictive, category in a week.
These rallies took place ahead of the DSUSD board meeting, in which the plan for the rest of the year will be discussed, and DSUSD staff say they’re welcoming parent feedback.
“Our board members have been listening, they’ve been reading comments. Every board member will give it their most detailed evaluation and concern, and the board will come back with a plan, whatever that may be, for the next step,” said Mary Perry, DSUSD spokesperson.
Other districts across the Coachella Valley are also trying to firm up their outline for the school year.
In their last board meeting on Sept. 24, Palm Springs Unified School District laid out a four month plan that would begin a transition to a hybrid model for elementary students in Nov.
“Not knowing what the future holds in those winter months is making me think that we should slow things down to be able to make sure we keep everyone safe,” said Madonna Gerrell, a PSUSD Board Member.
The outline also shows that some small group work could begin in October as well.
PSUSD will meet next on Oct. 13 to try to finalize the school’s plan.
Coachella Valley Unified has yet to decide what the rest of the school year will look like, and is staying with the remote model for now.
In a recent parent survey, CVUSD found that 49 percent of parents would not send their kids back to school for hybrid learning.
The district will meet on Oct. 8 to discuss more findings from their survey, and decide what learning approach is best for their district.