PYLUSD vs. BOUSD COVID Response

BOUSD+has+chosen+to+have+remote+instruction+while+PYLUSD+has+chosen+to+keep+hybrid+instruction.

Courtesy of World Bank

BOUSD has chosen to have remote instruction while PYLUSD has chosen to keep hybrid instruction.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Section Editor

After Governor Newsom’s decision to place California under the Stay at Home Order due to, once again, rising COVID-19 cases, school districts that had already opened were exempt and had the option to remain open. While many school districts like the Brea Olinda Unified School District (BOUSD) transitioned to full distance learning, Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) was one of the only districts to keep hybrid in-person instruction.

In a letter to staff and parents, Brad Mason, BOUSD’s superintendent, writes “[BOUSD] will be temporarily transitioning to full-time distance learning for all students effective Monday, December 7th through Friday, January 29th.” In contrast, Greg Plutko, PYLUSD’s superintendent shares that “campuses will remain open for in-person hybrid instruction with a continued commitment to reducing the spread and other adverse effects related to COVID-19.”

After a couple of weeks after both decisions were made, it was obvious, according to statistics on reported COVID cases, that the PYLUSD’s hybrid model has resulted in more cases than BOUSD’s choice to remain online. Fourteen COVID cases among both students and staff were reported for BOUSD as of December 15th (www.bousd.us) while an astonishing 168 cases among students and staff were reported for PYLUSD as of December 16th (www.pylusd.org). Although many may say the dramatic difference is due to PYLUSD having more students and staff compared to BOUSD, the statistics are still disproportionate to their total populations.

This brings up the question of why PYLUSD is still open for hybrid instruction? Both districts are very close in proximity and serve the same demographics. One explanation may be because the winter recess is soon. Therefore, a transition back to completely remote instruction would be unnecessary as students will have a break soon and conditions may improve over the rest of the year.

I personally don’t think it’s worth the risk since our state has been increasing in the number of cases”

— Catelyn Nguyen (11)

Catelyn Nguyen (11) believes that the district should have stayed online and that “ever since we have started hybrid our school has gotten a few unnecessary cases of COVID which we could’ve avoided. Even though there is a pro to doing hybrid as some people learn better in person, I personally don’t think it’s worth the risk since our state has been increasing in the number of cases over the past few months. Also, I know some people in our school that don’t fully follow the guidelines, so it’s a little risky.”

Since BOUSD and other school districts have returned to online instruction, it appears that PYLUSD has a different agenda for their response to COVID. Of course, PYLUSD is still doing its best to keep running smoothly and maintain safety. While these uncertain times bring about many issues, it is important to trust the district and believe that it is doing what is best for both the students and staff.