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Board Approves March 22 Secondary Re-Open
school meet
A group of parents gathered in the courtyard of the Tech Center on Thursday night chanting “No more excuses, kids first!” as OJUSD board members gathered for a special meeting. The result of the meeting: grades 7-12 will return to campus on a hybrid schedule beginning the week of March 22. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

On campus learning will once again be in session for not just elementary but secondary students of Oakdale Joint Unified as well.

A special meeting of the board of trustees was called the evening of Thursday, March 18 to address student requirements for guided instruction, as well as a re-opening plan for grades 7 through 12.

Prior to the start of the meeting board members were greeted by a small group of parents in the courtyard of the tech center making their voices heard for returning students to on campus learning.

Superintendent Marc Malone shared with the board critical information which proved to be a game changer in the current re-opening plan. On March 15, a San Diego Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order, as result of a lawsuit brought on by a group of parents challenging the constitutional rights of the reopening framework and guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on Jan. 14.

The temporary restraining order restrains defendants from enforcing the CDPH work orders.

“I would also like to morph this into a recommendation to the board for a reopening and the reopening would be as soon as March 22,” Malone stated to the board.

Malone also noted that CSBA (California School Board Association) urges boards to continue to use best practices for safety with respect to COVID-19 for school reopening plans.

“We have consistently said when we got our window of opportunity to open we would do so,” Malone said. “We have heard, I have heard and answered the question why did we not open previously and that was because there is no school district our size or larger that could open under the requirements that we had under the California Department of Health at that time.”

Addressing the issues at hand and before presenting the 7 through 12 plan, Malone requested permission from the board to address the agenda item as well as the recommendation for the re-open plan.

Malone indicated earlier in the week he received information in regards to the San Diego court decision, receiving an immediate update from Stanislaus County Public Health stating “permissible to open grades 7 through 12 using the established safety protocols.”

“I will say in all of this, we are still mindful that the virus is still out there. We are still mindful dealing with infection rate,” Malone stated, noting all will be taken into consideration with the re-entry plan for 7 through 12. Safety protocols will continue including: masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing and surface sanitation.

The overall proposal was passed unanimously by the board. Monday, March 22 will remain a distance learning day with Hybrid on-campus instruction beginning Tuesday, March 23 for Red Co-horts and Wednesday, March 24 for Gold Co-horts and both campuses. For schedule details visit

“Due to recent court action, the OJUSD Board of Trustees was able to take action last night to return our grade 7-12 students to school for in-person instruction,” District Superintendent Marc Malone wrote on the district’s website Friday morning. “Beginning Monday, March 22, grade 7-12 students will utilize a Hybrid Block Schedule. This schedule maintains Distance Learning on Monday for quarantining purposes and then provides a half day in-person schedule with optional teacher office hours in the afternoon Tuesday through Friday with students in A/B cohorts. This schedule will be effective from March 22 until April 1. The OJUSD spring break runs from April 2 to April 11.”

The statement from the superintendent also reports that: Starting April 12, Grade 7-12 students will return on a full-day Hybrid Schedule. This schedule also maintains Distance Learning on Monday. Tuesday through Friday students attend a full day schedule during their on-site days. On their off-site days they will perform independent practice. This same schedule was utilized to successfully and safely open our TK-6 schools.

Detailed reopening plans are posted on each school’s website. For the full story, see the March 24 issue of The Oakdale Leader March 24.