Superintendent Will Recommend PUSD Reopen With Online Learning Only

Pasadena High School. – Courtesy photo / Tedder (CC BY 3.0)

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Los Angeles County, and the state, Superintendent Brian McDonald plans to bring a recommendation to the Board of Education at a special meeting on July 16 that Pasadena Unified (PUSD) open in a complete distance learning model on Aug. 17.

“We have been preparing for the possibility of a full distance learning model. Our school reopening plan is designed to allow us to move seamlessly from a hybrid model to a full distance learning environment and back again as conditions change,” McDonald wrote in an email to families.

Earlier this month, PUSD announced plans to reopen in August using a hybrid model. Within those plans, the district’s reopening task force designed a completely online learning option in the core curriculum for K-12 students that will differ from the emergency remote learning model that was used in this spring and focus on the core curriculum and offer increased teacher-student engagement.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) also released reopening protocols for K-12 schools in Los Angeles County on Monday. Developed in consultation with more than 500 stakeholders, the protocols are intended to serve as a roadmap for school districts as they plan how to reopen.

The protocols do not authorize schools to reopen for in person classroom instruction. School re-openings will be guided by the state and by each school district’s decision on how to best configure learning opportunities during the pandemic, considering the levels of community transmission and what the science shows about the risks. For those schools that re-open their campuses, they will need to adhere to the public health and safety requirements detailed in the protocol released.

From the beginning, PUSD maintained that plans would evolve as guidelines were released and if the Board of Education approves McDonald’s recommendation the plans may still change again as conditions change. “We will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year as soon as public health conditions allow and adequate resources are allocated by both the state and federal governments for the safe return to schools,” the superintendent wrote.

July 14, 2020

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Fabiola Diaz

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