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At best, students’ education is stagnant right now. At worst, they’re experiencing something educators call “the summer slide,” when student progress recedes a bit during summer months. Laura Kohn, a local education expert and director at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, says what’s happening now is a massive “COVID slide.”

In this VOSD Podcast bonus episode, host Scott Lewis and Kohn discussed what learning could look like in San Diego going forward and how dire the situation is right now (their conversation originally happened on our Voice of San Diego At Home series). This part of the reopening is crucial, Lewis says, because society simply can’t reopen if kids aren’t in school.

California already has high class sizes compared with other states. So packing 30-plus kids in a classroom is hardly viable until there’s a coronavirus vaccine or a very successful treatment, said Kohn.

“It only will work if we stretch out the day,” Kohn said. “There’s no way to do social distancing on our campuses unless you have kids in shifts. That’s the only possibility.”

(For what it’s worth, San Diego Unified has sketched out another possibility that envisions utilizing gyms, auditoriums and other venues to space kids out, but they say it will depend on receiving far more money from the state or federal government.)

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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