In response, the county’s individual districts have begun to announce their own plans for the upcoming school year.
“It really doesn’t affect us at all. The Orange County Board does not dictate what we do as a district,” said Newport Mesa Unified School District’s Karen Yelsey.
Newport Mesa Unified is announcing its plan for classroom learning for Kindergarten through sixth grade, but students do have another option when school starts in 40 days.
“One is going back 100 percent. Number two is going back everyday but for a shorter period within the classroom with the teacher, the other would be outside with other people. And the third option would be if we had to go with distanced learning 100%,” Yelsey said.
NMUSD families that prefer online learning have a separate virtual district academy with its own principal.
At the district’s 32 schools, social distancing will be in place and decisions about where masks will be worn on campus will be announced.
The plan for secondary education will be voted on next week.
But it’s a far different story at Santa Ana Unified, Orange County’s second-largest school district.
Students won’t be returning in the fall and education will be 100% virtual, at least initially.
Meantime in the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, there are two options — a year of virtual education or on-campus instruction with smaller classes for students learning with acrylic dividers, keeping safety in mind.
“The Orange County Board of Education has no authority, has no say, no jurisdiction, has absolutely no control,” Ocean View School Board President Gina Clayton-Tarvin.
“We are reevaluating, literally on a daily basis, the safety of returning to school. We feel we have a really good plan,” Clayton-Tarvin said.