As case numbers continue to go down, DSUSD is preparing for the return of preschool through fifth-grade pupils to in-person learning

One year ago, on March 13, our school buildings closed and we began what became known as “distance learning.” Our teachers and students have been working together in a virtual world for the past 12 months. While learning has continued, both adults and children have been anxious to return to in-person learning. Desert Sands Unified School District returns to in-person learning via the hybrid model for students in our preschools through 5th grades on Monday, March 15.

Return to In-Person Learning at DSUSD for Pupils

Brother and sister Quinten and Kanadii, students at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, demonstrate how to WASH hands as they help create a back to in-person learning video.

Communications have been sent to elementary school families regarding what we call the hybrid-learning model. In this model students returning to in-person learning are divided into two cohorts, Cohort A and Cohort B. Keep in mind that, as a parent preference, approximately 40% of all students will remain in distance learning. Parents and guardians were asked several months ago to register their children for either the distance-learning model or the hybrid-learning model. In the hybrid-learning model, Cohort A students will be on campus on Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort B on Thursdays and Fridays. Teachers will provide virtual instruction on Wednesdays to all students. On the days when they are not part of the in-classroom cohort, students will have morning meetings with their teachers and then do their work via asynchronous instruction (independent of their teacher).

Schools have been equipped with safety measures including air filters/ionizers, desks are six feet apart, each desk has a plexiglass shield, hand sanitizer stations, and thorough cleaning procedures.  There are signs and posters throughout the schools to remind students of all safety practices. Masks for students who forget them will be provided. To learn more about our safety measures, parents and guardians are urged to take a look at the district’s safety plan, one of only four currently approved by Riverside County Public Health. The plan can be found by clicking here. 

Return to In-Person Learning at DSUSD for Pupils

Jackson, a student at Adams Early Childhood Education Center, and Ariana, an Amelia Earhart Elementary School student, remind everyone to WEAR a mask.

In addition, a video has been produced by DSUSD on a return to the elementary school in-person learning model. Available in both English and Spanish, the video speaks directly to children and is available on our website, The video is based on the “Four Ws” as students prepare to be at their schools.

The four Ws are WELCOME, WEAR your mask, WASH your hands, and WATCH your distance. The word WELCOME is a reminder of how happy everyone is to be back at school but to keep in mind that we share that happiness with smiles that go all the way to our eyes. Students are reminded to not share supplies and to not hug or touch their friends. Students and staff will WEAR their masks, over both mouth and nose, during the school day. Hand WASH stations or sinks are in each classroom and throughout the schools. Fun posters reminding students to WEAR their masks, WASH their hands, and WATCH their distance can be found all around the campus. Students will remain in their cohorts throughout the day, not interacting with other children in other classrooms. WATCH your distance is a measure that will be shared throughout the day, at the bus stop, on the bus, in the classroom, and in the playground. The video takes a look at a school day for our students in grades PreK-5 and includes information on riding the bus, entering the school’s campus, meals on campus, health checks, and more.

Return to In-Person Learning at DSUSD for Pupils

Bus driver Kevin Kreisler and Principal Carol Bishop of Harry S. Truman Elementary School practice their WELCOME for students returning to in-person learning.

As case numbers continue to go down, DSUSD is preparing for the return of middle and high school students to in-person learning and is excited that sports competitions have begun. The latest information on all aspects of DSUSD educational plans can be found on our website.

Families are encouraged to frequently check for updates. Brief pandemic-related updates from Superintendent Scott Bailey are posted on the homepage under Super Seconds.

We are counting the days until we see our students back on campus!


Photo caption above: Showing how to WATCH your distance are Madison, Madeline, and Troy, students from the DSUSD Early Childhood Education Center.

Image Sources

  • Wash your hands: DSUSD
  • Wear your mask: DSUSD
  • Welcome: DSUSD
  • Watch your distance: DSUSD