School reopening is the hot topic this week with almost as many opinions on the topic as there are students in the district.

As it stands today, in person activities will resume in Santa Monica 15 days after vaccines have been made available to teachers (school is expected to start on or around March 15). The specific activities and their length will vary school by school.

Any reopening is limited to elementary schools at this time as the county case counts remain too high to reopen additional grades.

Today’s paper contains the results of an SMDP poll on school reopening. Like any research tool, there will be individuals who discount the results because it contradicts their personal opinions but we’re confident the results are valid and an accurate representation of a point in time.

We had over 1,600 responses over the 48 hour voting window. Due to the technology behind the poll, we can tell who tried to vote twice, who passed their phone around a room and who tried to misrepresent themselves. We’ve accounted for all the shenanigans in the results and presented the most interesting results on pages 6 and 7.

Of the questions asked, we’ve visualized the most interesting answers and included a representative sample of quotes left by respondents.

One question missing from the graphs is the question of responsibility.

We’ve omitted that for a couple of reasons. It is an uninteresting chart, the question creates an unintended culture of blame and we think it’s the most subject to change day to day as new information emerges.

As we’ve moved through the reopening discussion, we’ve seen the shifting tides of blame within our office. One day we’re overwhelmed with calls about the District failing, the next day there’s an effort afoot to fire Dr. Drati and the next it’s the unions holding everything up.

For the record, at the time the poll closed, 63 percent of responses said the local Teachers Union was responsible, 57 percent said it was the SMMUSD Board, 46 percent faulted SMMUSD Administration, 42 percent the Statewide Teachers union and 37 percent said the LA County Department of Public Health.

In addition to the numeric data, we’ve included some quotes from the more than 450 that were provided from teachers, parents and students. We’re not passing any judgment on the information today; we’re just presenting it for public consumption and we encourage everyone to download this week’s episode of our podcast Inside The Daily Press for more discussion about the subject.

SMDP Editorial Board