Story by Lilian Zhu
Photo by Ella Jayasekera
South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) explained its planned hybrid and distance learning models for the 2020-2021 academic year on July 29. Administrators also answered questions from parents and students through a live webinar and FAQ.
The 100 percent total distance learning model will consist of 80 minute periods, with a minimum 50 percent synchronous learning for the high school. Synchronous learning will consist of live online instruction, discussion, and assessment with students’ respective teachers, while asynchronous learning will be conducted through methods like recorded instruction and online discussion boards. Students will still remain on an odd and even day block schedule, consisting of 3 to 4 periods per day.
Unlike distance learning which took place in the fourth quarter, grades will be determined traditionally by teachers. Furthermore, attendance and participation will be monitored consistently by SPUSD staff.
Once schools are physically able to reopen, SPUSD will transition into the hybrid model which assigns students to A, B, and C cohorts. Cohorts A and B will attend school at different times for two consecutive days each week. Students who opt-out of physically attending school will remain in cohort C for 100 percent distance learning. Parents had the choice to opt-in or out on Aeries by July 31.
Every student will also have the opportunity to receive a Chromebook from the district. The distribution will take place from Aug. 3-10 based on which SPUSD school each student attends.
Lunch meals will also be provided to all students but purchases will be based upon their qualification, unlike the free meal waiver set in place during March. Families can apply for free or reduced meals until Sep 24.
Additionally, SPHS Principal Janet Anderson announced that yearbooks ordered during the previous academic year will be distributed on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fremont drive-through parking lot.