The decision by the Carlsbad Unified School District to return to school on Jan. 5, 2021, is detrimental to the students of Sage Creek and their academic future. According to the California Department of Public Health, among schools that have reopened, there have been a “very small” number of COVID-19 cases. Across the United States, classes are taking place in person, and have been since Aug. 31.
CUSD must reopen schools if they truly have students’ best interests in mind.
According to a CUSD update published on Oct. 30, over the last two months, the percentage of failing grades issued has reached 14.3%, an 8.7% increase in the amount of failing grades issued compared with the 2019 school year.
“I think that students need to be back in school as soon as possible,” senior Isaac Perez said. “The overall experience of online learning has made me not like learning anymore.”
The CUSD acknowledges that there is an undeniable correlation between lower grades and online school, and yet they refuse to open schools earlier to the detriment of students, particularly those in disadvantaged demographic groups.
With widespread educational disparities across demographic groups in California, students of color at Sage Creek may be the most affected. In an article published by CalMatters, on Feb. 3, they found that “black, Latino and poor students still lag dramatically behind Asian American, white and wealthier students.” Schools remaining closed could worsen educational disparities in our community due to lower test scores among students of color, and little progress to fix gaps in education.
The CUSD board’s decision to remain at home for the remainder of 2020 is not only negatively impacting students, it is subjecting the most vulnerable members of our community to increased academic pressure, which has resulted in lower grades among all students and Sage Creek, students of color, or otherwise.
According to a Center for Disease Control article published on Oct. 29, “children with COVID-19 are less likely to have severe symptoms than adults or experience an asymptomatic infection.” Coupled with the “very small” number of COVID-19 cases that have occurred in schools that have reopened, and the CDC’s statement that children are “less likely to have severe symptoms,” it is irresponsible for the CUSD to continue online school, as students are already struggling to achieve academic success.