By Raiza Giorgi


The Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District is looking at adopting a modified schedule come fall for the 2020-21 school year with students divided into groups with mostly online instruction and few days on campus. 

“As I look at it the economy isn’t fully open until schools are fully open. How we get there, I don’t have that answer and we are looking for guidance from the board how we find a happy medium until we can,” said Superintendent Scott Cory. 

The SYHS District Board of Education packet for their meeting on Tuesday, June 23, outlined a sample new schedule with 87 percent of the faculty surveyed in favor of this new plan. 

The proposed schedule outlined students would be divided into groups and then given a day for 100-minute block classes. Cory stated improvements are already being suggested and will be discussed at the meeting. As of now classes could look like following below. 

Odd Week:

Mon: 1a, 3a, 5a, 7a
Tues: 2b, 4b, 6b, 7b
Wed = 1, 3, 5 online + faculty meeting

Thur: 2a, 4a, 6a, 7a
Fri: 1b, 3b, 5b, 7b

Even Week:

Mon: 2a, 4a, 6a, 7a
Tues: 1b, 3b, 5b, 7b
Wed = 2, 4, 6 online + department meeting

Thur: 1a, 3a, 5a, 7a
Fri: 2b, 4b, 6b, 7b

The advantages of this plan reduces the number of student-to-student contacts per day; however the schedule creates challenges for working parents. 

“Just take transportation for example. Our buses that are designed for 50 -70 kids can now only transport 14 students with social distancing guidelines. How is that going to work if we kept all kids on campus,” Cory stated.

That is just the scratch of the surface in issues Cory and all of the valley Superintendent’s have to look at. There are also staff concerns because of, for instance, there could be an elderly family member or immunocompromised family member at home. He has been talking with everyone on all sides and trying to come up with solutions. 

He also added that he was just made aware of a sudden reversal the California Department of Public Health has removed language from its guidance that was widely interpreted as exempting schools from a mandate requiring the use of masks. As a result of this change, the new consensus is that students, with some limited exceptions, and staff must wear masks, or face shields, while in school facilities.

“In trying to find some positivity through all this, with a lot of instruction going online, there is an opportunity to add in some great educational tools and programs that will enhance our students education going forward,” Cory said. 

Cory also stated they will be hiring a Health and Wellness Coordinator Claudia Peña, as well as an Teacher on Special Assignment position who will create, develop, implement and oversee an Independent Study program for the district in order to retain students that would not attend school otherwise due to health and safety concerns. 

Watch the meeting at 5:30 p.m. online at