In a letter to the public on March 8, Superintendent Gerry Washburn explained the Department of Education’s new policy that all students who wish to return to in-person learning five days a week may soon do so. School districts have been directed to provide five-day a week in-person learning on or before April 5. Due to spring break, Carlsbad’s schools plan to return to the five day a week model by March 29. The school district is receiving additional direction from the state on some of the specific policies. According to Washburn, the announcement also contained some good news regarding band and choir. Students may now play instruments and sing in outdoor settings with nine feet of social distancing, but singing and playing wind instruments is still not allowed.
Mandatory quarantine guidance has been changed to ten days for close contact with a COVID-19 case. The school will still have to follow its current quarantine policy when it moves into five days a week of classes. Washburn completed his letter by encouraging people to continue to maintain social distancing, wash their hands and wear a mask.
While a return to in-person learning is certainly a positive overall, it does mean that our schools again have to scramble to make yet another massive series of adjustments. It also means our children have to adjust for the third time over the past month, and many students do not learn well when subject to so many changes. The return to five days a week of school is certainly a positive, but please be patient with our schools and our children as they make yet another adjustment.
On Monday, Carlsbad LifeHouse Inc. announced that the nonprofit organization has reached a deal to purchase Villa de Esperanza (an addiction treatment center) and Golden Services Counseling. Lifehouse, which has a great track record of helping others in Carlsbad, will take over these serves on April 1.
This is an extremely important development for our community, as we feared these critical services and jobs might be lost. Lifehouse has also entered an agreement to help manage the Avalon Ranch program, which is a residential treatment program for women with children that will be located at 106 N. Mesquite. Finally, Lifehouse has reached an agreement with Lakeview to purchase the former Landsun Health Services Center and hopes to use that facility for expanding mental health and substance abuse services.
There are many people who have worked hard behind the scenes to make sure these treatment options will continue, but special thanks to Phillip Huston and the Board with LIfehouse for putting everything together, as well as Woods Houghton, Jeff Diamond and everyone with the Avalon Ranch program. Finally, thank you to all of the dedicated employees at Villa de Esperanza who have committed themselves to helping those in need, including Kim and Dave Rogers. There’s a lot of work left to do, but LIfeHouse has really stepped forward to make a difference.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway