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Yo-yo school year possible for students
They could go from distance learning to classes & back

There is a strong possibility this could go down as the “Yo-Yo” school year.

That’s because Manteca Unified in order to comply with state mandates that reflect the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic and to maximize opportunities for in-person learning is pursuing a flexible strategy that will flow with the ebbs and flows of the coronavirus infection rates.

And when classes do start not everyone will be going back initially as the state — based on Centers for Disease Control guidelines — has determined transitional kindergarten through sixth grade have lower risks when  it comes to COVID-19 than seventh through 12th graders.

The first step toward transitional kindergarten through sixth graders returning to classes could take place tonight.

The Manteca Unified board will consider applying for an instruction waiver with the San Joaquin County Public Health Department to allow it to happen once COVID-19 conditions allow it to happen. The board meets at 6 p.m.

There is no exact date for students to start returning to school.

But when they do, the general TK through sixth grade students won’t be the first through the door. It will be academically at-risk students.

The board also will discuss the plan to allow at-risk students. at all grade levels including special needs, homeless, foster children, and English as a Second Language Learners to go back to campuses for specialized in-person services. Those students will return first, followed by TK through sixth grade, and then everyone else initially in cohorts of 14 students rotating between distance learning and in person learning.

And there is a possibility once students return to campus that they could be switched back to distance learning on a school by school basis. What conditions would trigger what could end up being yo-yo movements of moving back and forth between three learning phases — 100 percent remote, a hybrid learning model with 50 percent of the students on campus at one time, and then everyone one on campus — is contained in an exhaustive 67-page outline of how the Manteca Unified School District intends to unfold the rest of the current school year.

The school board will also consider adopting the 67-page state required document known as the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan.

The document delineates how the physical return to school promises to be surreal in the COVID-19 era.

There will be no lockers used.

Lunch will be served in classrooms or outside.

Third graders through high schools seniors will be mandated to wear face masks. It is strongly recommended — but not required — that younger students wear face masks as well.

Rallies and assemblies are history until the San Joaquin County Public Health Officer says they can be held.

Elementary classes will likely have staggered recesses to stay separated from other student groups.

Those are just some tidbits from the 67-page outline of how the Manteca Unified School District intends to unfold the rest of the current school year as they eventually move from all distance to bring at risk students back first, then kindergarten through sixth grade then possible everyone else assuming COVID-19 conditions allow it.

Current positive cases

keep dropping in SJC

The number of people currently inflicted with CIOVID-19 in San Joaquin County is at 1,198. That’s down from 1,732 three weeks ago but still not enough yet to move toward more re-openings.

Postings on the San Joaquin County COVID-19 dashboard on Monday as of 11 a.m. show 1,198 persons out of 760,000 San Joaquin County residents are currently positive with the virus although they are not necessarily sick. That is the number once you subtract the 18,166 people that health officials have determined to have recovered from the 19,364 cases since March

Many of the recovered may never have been ill. The mask order and social distancing is designed to protect people from those who may not know they are carrying the virus and who may never show symptoms.

There were 677 new cases Monday. It represents three days of test reporting given the last posting was on Friday, That translates into an average of 225 new positive cases a day,


There have been 389 deaths in San Joaquin County. Of those, 12.6 percent did not have pre-existing conditions such as asthma, obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, or diabetes

As of Monday there were 41 of 72 beds at Doctors Hospital in use.  Five of the beds had COVID-19 patients with one in an ICU bed. Kaiser Foundation Hospital of Manteca had 20 beds in use and no COVID-19 patients.  

There were 59 COVID-19 patients countywide down from 182 on Aug. 24.  Of those, 24 were using ICU beds compared to 51 on Aug. 24.

COVID-19 patients account for 27 percent of the ICU load. There are 89 ICU beds in use. That means as a group hospitals in the county are operating at 90 percent of licensed ICU bed capacity.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email