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Bear Valley Middle School in Escondido has achieved what many other schools consider difficult, if not impossible. For several months, its roughly 700 students have returned to the classroom twice a week.
It is, Ashly McGlone reports, a rare sight.
Despite millions of extra dollars from state and federal governments, few districts have actually found a way to reopen safely during the pandemic. Many of the schools that did serve wealthier, Whiter communities. Most of Bear Valley’s students are socioeconomically disadvantaged — 24 percent are English-learners and 64 percent are Hispanic.
As case rates fall and more people become vaccinated, more districts are going to reopen. In the meantime, McGlone writes, schools like Bear Valley offer insight into how it could work.
Notably, the principal hired more teachers to ensure smaller class sizes. Teachers weren’t asked to pull double duty by teaching online and in person simultaneously, as they’ve been expected to do in other places.
City Still Banking on Tourism as Tech Industry Rises
San Diego has long been dependent on tourism and hospitality. When those industries took a hit last year, so did the city’s budget.
One part of the economy that has managed to grow: the tech sector. But the city is getting little benefit from these companies, at least for now.
Instead, VOSD contributor Ramin Skibba reports, city leaders continue to look to tourism and hospitality to pull us out of the pandemic.
If so, San Diego’s stake in the tourism and hospitality industries will only grow, at a time when the future has never been less clear. “Big, well-attended conventions and conferences may be years away from returning,” Skibba writes.
A couple things to keep in mind, though: Relief funds from state and federal governments may close the budget, but provide officials with less incentive to rethink their alignments long term. At the same time, pushing too hard on tech and software companies has its own risks.
- In the Politics Report, Scott Lewis and Andy Keatts discuss the new leader set to take over the powerful San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.
- On the podcast, San Diego’s Gang of Three dig into the biggest moments of a Senate confirmation hearing of San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten. They also talked to VOSD’s Sofía Mejías Pascoe about student housing and UCSD associate professor Tom Wong about migrants.
- Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a former labor leader, has made the CalChamber’s annual Job-Killer list for a series of bills aiming to protect vulnerable workers. One would require employers to rehire laid-off workers once positions open back up, something the city of san Diego already has in place. Kelly Davis also reports in the Sacramento Report that Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to bring social media posts under the state’s “rape shield” law.
In Other News
- Unaccompanied migrant girls have begun arriving at the San Diego Convention Center. (Union-Tribune)
- Comic-Con announced plans for an in-person convention over Thanksgiving weekend. (Variety)
- San Diego taxpayers have paid a private lawyer $570,000 to defend an ex-Sheriff’s deputy who groped and assaulted multiple women, on top of millions of dollars in legal settlements. (Union-Tribune)
And Finally …
A Washington Post piece on baseball mascots singles out one specific character “that altered the mascot universe.” Yes, friends, they’re talking about the San Diego Chicken.
Thursday’s Learning Curve included incorrect math regarding how many students fit into a classroom under the three-foot rule verses the five-foot rule as schools reopen.
An earlier version of this post misstated the legal situation affecting Measure C. A series of rulings outside of San Diego indicates it might have passed without a two-thirds vote.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.