In a recent message to Arcadia Unified (AUSD) families, district officials said that much of the district’s plans for reopening hinge on regulations set in place by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health). The Los Angeles County Office of Education has informed the AUSD that Public Health will have “broad authority to determine the manner in which schools may open for the 2020-2021 school year.”
Public Health has not yet released final guidelines for school administrators but AUSD is using current commonplace protocols, such as social distancing, to plan instruction in the fall under three educational models that will help the district remain flexible when more guidance is received.
The first plan is a full opening in which students are welcomed back to school campuses and receive instruction in classrooms with safety directives from Public Health in place. According to AUSD officials, this plan factors in the ability of the district to meet student/staff safety directives. If Public Health guidelines prevent a physical return to school sites for all students who wish to return in August, AUSD will shift to a “limited opening.”
The limited opening is a hybrid model where students are welcomed back to school and in classrooms in limited numbers each day. If guidelines require strict limits on the number of students in classrooms per day, students will attend school approximately two to three days per week while working independently from home or in a child care setting the remainder of the week. Specific school schedules will be determined by grade level and schools with input from stakeholders via School Site Leadership Teams.
The third option is a completely virtual learning model that would immediately go into effect if there is an outbreak and Public Health directs schools to remain closed or requires campuses to physically close sometime during the upcoming school year. Lessons will be delivered through a combination of live and pre-recorded instruction, and assignments, grades and attendance will be maintained. Instruction and assignments will take place with as little disruption to a normal classroom schedules as possible.
AUSD will continue to offer an independent study program facilitated by the Rancho Learning Center for any family deciding that a model with limited teacher interaction is best for their child.