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Zora Williams was a star student at Lincoln High, involved in countless clubs and applying to prestigious colleges across the country.
During her senior year, she enrolled in an AP calculus class, only to see 13 of the 21 students drop the class. With only eight students left, leadership at Lincoln High decided to cancel the class after the first quarter, as Scott Lewis reports in a new story on Williams’ ordeal.
But when Wellesley College put her on its waitlist, Williams’ confidence plummeted, and she was unclear what alternative options the district had made available for her to complete the AP course she’d told colleges she’d be taking.
Richard Barrera, a San Diego Unified trustee, suggested during a town hall that it was actually a silver lining of distance learning that students at Lincoln and elsewhere would have increased access to AP classes. Williams’ story shows it’s more complicated than that.
Both Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, the school board member who represents the area, and Barrera acknowledged the school did not handle the situation well. Once the class had started, the school should have committed to letting the students finish what they started, they both said.
“It’s actually not possible to imagine an AP class being shut down abruptly at Scripps Ranch High or many others,” Lewis writes.
But Williams’ story had a happy ending.
She was accepted at Spelman College, got back on track, and ended up enrolling at Cal Poly Pomona.
If San Diego County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to surge, it’ll put school reopening plans across North County at risk, reports Kayla Jimenez.
In her rundown of reopening dates, Jimenez highlights the mysterious departure of San Marcos Unified School District’s Superintendent Carmen Garcia.
“After a great deal of reflection and due to personal reasons, I’d like to inform you that I will be leaving the district,” Garcia wrote in a letter to the district community. “I thank the Board for the amicable separation and for the opportunity to work together these past two years with phenomenal students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and the community at large.”
Numerous community members and parents expressed concern with the district’s reopening plans during recent school board meetings. Enrollment decreased at San Marcos Unified Elementary School District this year as parents opted for alternatives to distance learning amid COVID-19.
San Diego may indeed be placed into tighter pandemic restrictions, after Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected the county’s request to exclude San Diego State University’s COVID-19 cases from its total.
Newsom settled the issue after county supervisors asked the state to discount SDSU’s high infection rate from the county total to avoid reverting back to restrictions on businesses and worship centers.
Restaurants, worship centers, museums, movie theaters, hair and nail salons, barbershops, gyms and fitness centers could offer indoor services with capacity restrictions as of Aug. 31. That’s after the state rolled out a new system to measure COVID-19 cases and grade cities based on the level of risk.
A reporter asked whether the governor would consider special exceptions like San Diego’s seeking.
“The answer is no,” Newsom said, because those students and staff live out in the community and not “on an island.”
The Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts and MacKenzie Elmer, and edited by Sara Libby.