Eureka City Schools to Offer In-Person Classes in March

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Eureka City Schools' main office. - FILE
  • File
  • Eureka City Schools' main office.
The Eureka City Schools Board voted last night to open up for in-person instruction by March 1 for pre-school to eighth grade, with families having the option to continue distance learning.

Superintendent Fred Van Vleck noted in a Facebook post that the California Department of Public Health does not allow high schools to reopen in areas under the purple COVID-19 risk tier — which is where Humboldt County currently sits — but the district is “optimistic” the region will move into the red tier next week, which would possibly allow for the move by the March 1 date.

“As we transition to the option of in-person learning, there will be much work happening in preparation.  Many of the details are not yet available,” Van Vleck’s post states. “Your student’s school site will be in contact with you next week to determine whether or not you would like your student to stay on distance learning or attend in-person.  Sites will also be reaching out with the schedule details, as there will likely be modifications to start and end times for both in-person and distance learning to accommodate bussing.”

The board’s decision to reopen was 4-1, with trustee G Mario Fernandez casting the sole dissenting vote.

In a Facebook post, Fernandez noted he supports in-person learning but had hoped the process would move a little slower with a phased-in approach.

“As it's been almost a year of pandemic guidelines and distance learning for students, I believe we can be in person as long as we remain strict adherents to the social guidelines that are now normal,” he wrote. “My concern remains with keeping our community healthy and safe, though, not at the detriment of students or education staff.”

Read the ECS post below:

Last night, on Thursday, February 18th, the Eureka City Schools Board met and determined that in-person instruction will be available as an option for all grade levels, preschool through high school. This means you will have an option for whether or not you would like your student to attend in-person instruction or continue on distance learning. 

In-person learning will be available starting Monday, March 1st, for preschool through 8th grade.  As of right now, the California Department of Public Health will not allow Eureka High School or Zoe Barnum High School to open for in-person instruction until Humboldt County has been in the Red Tier for 5 days.  We are optimistic that the County will move to the Red Tier on Tuesday, February 23rd, thus potentially allowing the high schools to provide the option for in-person learning on Monday, March 1st.

As we transition to the option of in-person learning, there will be much work happening in preparation.  Many of the details are not yet available.  Your student’s school site will be in contact with you next week to determine whether or not you would like your student to stay on distance learning or attend in-person.  Sites will also be reaching out with the schedule details, as there will likely be modifications to start and end times for both in-person and distance learning to accommodate bussing.  If you have specific questions, please contact your student’s site.

We will not be able to transport students on our buses at the normal capacity, so if you have the means to get your student to school, please plan to do so.  For those who rely on bussing, we will do our best to safely accommodate as many students as possible.  More information will be available next week.

As we transition back to in-person learning, please be patient with your student's teachers, their school site, and the District. We are starting a new way of learning, a combination of in-person and distance learning, that teachers have never done before.  We are all but certain to have issues as we learn how to best serve students in two different learning modalities.

As students return to in-person instruction, please be advised, all students must wear a face covering and follow travel advisory and contact quarantines as directed by Humboldt County Public Health.

Please pause and consider your plans for safe interaction with others.  Please follow the advice of Humboldt County Public Health to help keep your family and our community safe. 

Stay healthy and stay strong.

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