SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Seemingly going against the recommendations of the Orange County Board of Education, the Santa Ana Unified School District has announced that it will be starting the new school year entirely online.

Protesters outside an Orange County School Board meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on July 13, 2020. (CBSLA)

The district reported Tuesday that when the fall semester kicks off on Aug. 10, students will not be on campuses. Instead, they will be learning virtually, as they have since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This decision comes as the number of COVID-19 cases throughout Santa Ana, and across California and the rest of the country continues to climb at an alarming rate,” the distict said in a news release.

The decision seems to be in stark opposition to the Orange County Board of Education, which voted controversially 4-1 Monday night to allow schools to reopen next month with in-person instruction.

The board voted that students and teachers can choose to attend classes without masks and no social distancing required.

Just last week, SAUSD’s own board had voted in favor of offering students the choice between learning solely online, or under a hybrid model.

However, the rise in cases forced the board to pull back from that.

“Making the decision now to shift to a virtual education model gives the District more time to make sure our teachers are fully prepared, our parents are well informed, and our students have access to devices and internet needed for us to deliver the highest quality service during this time,” SAUSD Board of Education President Dr. Rigo Rodriguez said in a statement Tuesday.

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