In person instruction for grades 6 through 12 has been approved to begin on Monday, March 29. A hybrid model of Monday/Tuesday students and Thursday/Friday students on a minimum day schedule will be used in Patterson until it is allowed to return to traditional schedules.

The decision comes after the Parent Association of San Diego County sued Governor Gavin Newsom over reopening disagreements, calling the state leaders' framework arbitrary and unfair. Last week, San Diego County Judge, Cynthia Freeland concurred. Freeland’s ruling allows all schools in the state who are in the purple-tier, to reopen.

Freeland has criticized the lack of consistency between elementary and secondary school’s reopening requirements, specifically noting a dearth of evidence on social distancing guidelines between older and younger students.

“[The state’s guidelines] have had and will continue to have a real and appreciable impact on the affected student’s fundamental California right to basic educational equality,” wrote Freeland. “...[The January 2021 framework] is selective in its applicability, vague in its terms and arbitrary in its prescriptions.”

PJUSD Superintendent Phil Alfano, has scheduled a meeting for parents and students just before Spring Break on March 31 to bring everyone up to speed on the possible merging of the divided students based on the court case rulings in San Diego and a possible change in CDC guidelines. He is also encouraging the use of voluntary rapid antigen testing for parents and students in grades 6 through 12. The testing will take place in clinics organized by the district just before the end of Spring Break, in hopes that it can help to reduce the potential for Covid-19 exposure.

Parents or guardians of students in grades 6 through 12 attending Del Puerto High School, Walnut Grove Elementary, Patterson High School or Creekside Middle School, will be receiving a survey to see if they plan on returning their children to school or keeping them at home to continue distance learning.

“We are pleased to report that our district is able to begin offering in-person instruction in grades 6-12, using a hybrid model, on Monday, March, 29, 2021,” wrote PJUSD Superintendent Phil Alfano. “...We will continue to monitor developments at the state and county level that may allow school districts to accelerate a return to a traditional, full-day model of in-person instruction, five days a week, at all grade levels...On behalf of our board of trustees and the entire PJUSD staff, I want to thank all of our parents and students for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times. We look forward to welcoming your children back to campus and will continue to communicate any changes in school operations resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

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