PUSD Pushes School Reopening to April 13, No Date Set for Middle and High Schools

| File photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

On Tuesday, the California Teachers Association sent a letter to Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald, on behalf of United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP), in an effort to stop in-person instruction that they believe is unlawful and puts educators and students at risk. Union members were concerned over the lack of adequate safety preparation at school sites.

However, on Wednesday, the two parties came to a mutual understanding.

PUSD and UTP have now reached an agreement on reopening schools for in-person instruction, agreeing to adjust the date for preschools and elementary schools to begin opening with a hybrid simultaneous learning model after spring break. 

The two parties agreed to return to the table on March 26 to outline the resumption of in-person learning for students in sixth through 12th grade. 

“We’re excited to reach an agreement with UTP that returns PreKindergarten-5th grade student cohorts to in-person learning in a hybrid simultaneous model,” McDonald said in a statement. “Adjusting our start date and reaching this agreement means that we can welcome our students as a united team.”

Student cohorts in prekindergarten, transitional kindergarten, first and second grades, and early childhood education programs will return to campus on April 13 immediately after spring break. Third through fifth grade will return on April 20. 

Prekindergarten through fifth grade teachers and UTP members will have up to five days to organize classrooms and the school environment and get ready to welcome students:

  • March 17, 18, and 19, as previously scheduled.
  • Two additional days: March 29 and 30. 

Students will be in asynchronous learning on these days.  

There will be no school on March 31 because of the César Chávez holiday. Students will be in distance learning on April 1 and 2. April 2 is a shortened day. PUSD is on spring recess April 5-9.

“This agreement with our teachers’ union further strengthens our District’s plan to safely return to in-person instruction,” said Scott Phelps, Board president. “After working collaboratively with our labor partners during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to reach an agreement for PreK-5th grade that keeps our students and employees safe and reflects the thoughtful care that has characterized our District’s response to this crisis.” 

Agreement has not yet been reached on middle and high school dates for preparation days for teachers. Both parties agreed to return to the table on March 26 to continue conversations regarding the effects of reopening. Students in sixth through 12th grade should check their Canvas account for directions from their teachers on March 17-19.

March 17, 2021

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family sailed to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures, chasing a breaking news story. or playing drums, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars like his beloved 74 MGB...more like an addiction, says his wife of 22 years.

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