Students walk to class at Bear Valley Middle School. The Escondido Union School District has offered a hybrid model that includes in-person instruction. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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.

More Politics

In Other News

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.

Corrections

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.

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