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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

SGUSD makes plans for hybrid learning model

    By Sabrina Huerta | Staff Writer

       The San Gabriel Unified School District is preparing for Phase III of the “Return 2 Learn” plan known as the Hybrid model. According to a memo from Superintendent Jim Symonds, dated October 29, the soonest that Phase III/Hybrid will be implemented is January 19, 2021, and that is only if health and safety goals are met in Los Angeles county by that time.  

       In Phase III/ Hybrid, each week students will attend classes on campus for two days, and attend classes online for three days.

       Parents were given the “Family Survey Phase III Hybrid Model” earlier this school year. Of the 3,940 responses, 72.7 percent of parents marked that their child would “remain 100% in the Virtual Academy” while  27.5 percent marked that their child would “return in person” when school campuses re-open.

       Rochelle Haas, a school board member and a parent of several San Gabriel Unified students, stated, “For my daughter, being outside of the school setting has not been what was best for her academically or emotionally. So, if she can go back at least a couple days a week, I would see her benefiting from those few days being in person so she can get used to being in the school setting again.”

       Despite the fact that the majority of San Gabriel parents prefer to keep their children at home, the district continues to prepare for Phase III because the Board feels that it is important to have a plan ready when the county clears its schools for reopening.

       Dr. Gary Scott, School Board president, stated, “Most people anticipate that the time will come when we fully transition to Hybrid and, when it does, we won’t have a month to mess around with how we’re going to do it.” He added, “I think we’d be irresponsible if we didn’t prepare for [hybrid learning] at this point.”

        The School Board and superintendent work closely together in deciding these types of  plans for the district. A district-wide decision, like reopening schools during a pandemic, has to be agreed upon by many different individuals.

    The Reopening Task Force (consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, Board members, and classified staff) and the Distance Learning 3.0 (Phase III) Task Force were created to design and implement a plan for reopening San Gabriel schools when it is safe to do so.    

       Scott stated, “It’s not just the students we need to be mindful of; it’s also the staff.” 

       There is still uncertainty as far as what schedules will look like for district faculty, and the San Gabriel Teachers Association continues to survey its members.

       Some teachers have said they want to come back to school to teach when Phase III begins and some have said that they prefer to remain online for the rest of the school year. No decision has been made in terms of which teachers will teach in person and which will continue to teach virtually, although the district has indicated that it will take into consideration each teacher’s level of risk for COVID-19, such as age and pre-existing health conditions, in its planning.

       When Hybrid goes into effect, schools will enforce social distancing, desks will be six feet apart and students will not be able to meet and congregate for lunch. In elementary schools, students will not go on the playground during recess.

       Dr. Scott suggested that a crew would be needed to come into classrooms and sanitize every desk and other items that people come into contact with. Classes like art and science, however, make this process more difficult because they have a lot of supplies and group activities involved.

      When the district determines that it is ready for Phase III, the transition will be challenging because the staff will be teaching online at the same time as they prepare lessons for in the classroom. 

       “It’s like trying to change the wing of an airplane while still in flight,” Dr. Scott explained.

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    SGUSD makes plans for hybrid learning model