Story by Eddie Zhou
Photo by Tucker Judkins
South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) has begun preliminary discussions to implement a hybrid schedule model that consists of both in-person and virtual learning for the 2020-2021 school year. School officials maintain that these are only proposals and no final decision has been made.
The district is paying close attention to L.A. County Department of Public Health and L.A. County Office of Education guidelines. SPUSD administrators, teachers, and staff are discussing various possibilities for the physical reopening of schools and have proposed six different hybrid schedule options — with a seventh option that will keep instruction strictly online.
The district has surveyed students, parents, and teachers in recent months to get their feedback on the fourth quarter distance learning model. Participants also selected their preferences for the structure of the next school year.
“We have engaged in intensive, two-way dialogue with over a dozen different groups to glean key information to help create a new model of learning,” SPUSD Superintendent Geoff Yantz said in a statement to parents. “We also regularly meet with neighboring districts and school professionals across the county and state who are facing similar, challenging situations.”
The school year will begin on Thursday, Aug. 13 and changes to the campus will take place to help enforce social distancing measures. The district is looking into face masks, touchless hand sanitizer stations, plexiglass shields, and air filters to ensure safety while also giving students the opportunity to experience classroom learning once again.
“A hybrid approach would be nice because it would allow for more hands-on courses to provide students with a more immersive educational experience while taking necessary precautions to keep everyone safe,” rising junior Jason Liu said.
Students, parents, and staff will receive a new survey soon to help inform future scheduling decisions. The district intends on presenting overall plans to the School Board in mid-July.