The original building of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. Courtesy of the school

Just nine days after reopening its campus for in-person classes, Academy of Our Lady of Peace in North Park Thursday moved all its students to online-only courses after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Schools were allowed to reopen on Sept. 1, but as San Diego County’s rate of infection appears to be on the rise again, Our Lady of Peace is unlikely to be the only school to face consequences of in-person learning. The school sent a letter to parents Wednesday evening placing the blame on the children at the all-girls Catholic school.

“We recognize that despite our best efforts the girls are struggling with maintaining the rules of physical distancing both on and off campus,” it read. “Effective immediately, we are implementing a pause in our face-to-face learning model and moving to virtual distance learning (while maintaining the same class schedule). This will allow time for the community to separate, practice physical distancing and reflect on the importance and privilege of our time together on the OLP campus.”

The two confirmed student cases are unrelated, the school said. Students at the school will switch from online education to a hybrid model on Sept. 17, with students attending class two days a week in two separate cohorts separated by last name alphabetically.

State guidance is that if 5% of students or staff in a classroom test positive for COVID-19, it should be closed. Additionally, a school should close if there are multiple cases in multiple classrooms, or if 5% of the student body or staff test positive for the illness.

San Diego Unified School District and other school districts in regions disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 has stated they will not return until the pandemic lessens. Before schools were able to reopen, nearly 50 schools — mostly private and/or religious — petitioned the county to open early for in-person instruction.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.