Rick Grove
Assistant Superintendent,
Personnel Services, for the
Carlsbad Unified School District
and CHNR member
Rick Grove
After talking about CUSD’s many staff and student accomplishments, honors and awards in the past year, as well as completed and ongoing modernization projects, Rick Grove then focused on the CUSD’s Covid-19 planning, response and ongoing challenges.
CUSD’s leadership team began tracking Covid-19 in early March, he said, and on March 13, it received word that schools had to be shut down. The District opted to start spring break early, in the hopes that students would soon be back in school. Of course, that was not to be, and that has become one of CUSD’s major challenges. CUSD families are divided in thirds, Grove said. One-third of them don’t feel safe and want to wait until there is a vaccine before sending their children back for in-class learning. Another third wants to get back to school, following all protocols, and the final third wants to get their children back to school without any special requirements. “No matter what we do, perhaps two-thirds of our  parents will be unhappy.”
As of Monday, CUSD was preparing to re-open elementary schools on September 28, with half the students in classes Monday and Tuesday and doing remote learning Thursday and Friday; the other half doing the reverse. Wednesdays would be designated for disinfection. Breaking each elementary school population in half is necessary to reduce class sizes and to maintain social distancing. Grove said special-ed student classes are already small, so those students would be in class five days a week. Plans for secondary students are for them to continue with remote learning through October 13. The model for how the deal with potential in-class instruction for the high school students would be discussed at this week’s school board meeting, he said.
As of Monday, CUSD was awaiting word on whether SD County would fall into the state’s most restrictive tier. It appears that school districts that opened would not have to shut down, so if the county drops into the lower tier, that puts CUSD’s plans in jeopardy. Public policymakers, he explained, must determine the best use of resources and the well-being of staff and students, and as everyone knows, CUSD had yet not re-opened.
Grove thanked CHNR for its donation of masks to the district, including a recent donation of another 14,000 masks.