ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District Board discussed Tuesday the first phase of reopening schools, which began Monday, and details added to the reopening plan for secondary schools in January.

AUSD Superintendent Tom Butler noted near the start of the meeting that the parent surveys for kids in grades 6-12 went out on Monday, Nov. 2, and will be active till next Monday, Nov. 9. The survey allows parents to choose between three different options for their children, full distance learning, the hybrid model that will include in-person instruction, and the option for independent studies.

Board President Donn Clickard was back in action on Tuesday after spending the last few meetings at home recovering from a medical procedure. He kicked off the round of board reports with an inspired message to the community and staff on returning to school and developing a comprehensive plan.

“Every Friday, I meet with the 10 other board of education presidents throughout the county, and I will tell you that our reopening plan and the way it has come together doesn’t have a peer with the other groups,” Clickard said. “They are working hard, but our opening plan is working because of all of the input that you have had.”

Each trustee took time during their board report to echo Clickard’s sentiment. Several of the trustees visited school sites Monday morning to observe the reopening and shared their experiences.

“I had a brief opportunity to talk to a couple of teachers at each site, and it has been a challenge to get it going and wanted to give all teachers a shoutout,” Trustee George Shoemaker said.

Butler later went into detail on the updates made to the District’s reopening plan, which can be accessed on the AUSD website or in the Board agenda packet. Trustees first approved the plan on July 21 and first submitted it to the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health. The reopening plan has since been approved three additional times — Oct. 14, Oct. 20, and Oct. 26 — as the County and the District continue to update the plan as new information is provided.

The new additions included a protocol for if a household family member were to test positive, what happens if a student tests negative after having symptoms, and how the District will handle situations where individuals refuse to get tested.

In all three cases, students cannot return to school until symptoms are improved and are without a fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine.

The District’s new plan also includes employee testing for the coronavirus. Testing will be conducted onsite every other week on a rotational site basis.

The plan also contained one scheduling update. For students attending secondary school, Monday’s will be entirely online to reduce the number of classroom transitions within a day. Students will attend two periods per day the remainder of the week — Tuesday through Friday.

Follow the District’s Youtube account for more information or listen to this or any school board meetings.

Getting through this together, Atascadero