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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

SGUSD reopens campuses

By Ryan Sieh | Staff Writer

San Gabriel Unified District’s “Back to School” Informational Video

   California’s continued downward trend in COVID-19 cases allowed San Gabriel Unified School District (SGUSD) campuses to shift into Phase III, the in-person Hybrid Learning Model, beginning with students in transitional kindergarten through second grade returning to their schools on April 6. Third through fifth graders, along with the seniors at Gabrielino High School, were able to return to their campuses on April 19.

   When Phase 1 was first initiated last August, students were learning virtually from home, through Zoom. Now, students have the option of returning to their classrooms or continuing to attend school remotely.

   “I think hybrid learning will be a unique experience for each learner,” said McKinley Elementary School Principal Alex Herreria. “Some students continued to flourish at home regardless of where they were learning. It really depends on the individual.”

   For students returning to campus after being in virtual classrooms for over a year, it was a vastly different experience than they had been used to, as safety guidelines do not allow all students to return at once.

  Stephanie Villalobos, Coolidge Elementary School office manager, stated, “Students have been very excited, and are doing really well. They’re following the procedures, and are split into two groups, Group A and Group B […] There are around 150 to 170 students that have come back for hybrid classes.”

   SGUSD’s “Safety and Return 2 Learn Plan” notes that, in Phase III, there is no participant contact or shared equipment, among other safety measures.

   “Now that we have entered the hybrid model, combination teachers asked if we could split the grade levels. I have six 4th graders that come to class on Monday and Tuesday, and four 5th graders that come to class on Wednesday and Thursday,” explained Jaeleen Sattler, a Wilson Elementary School teacher.

“[I] can’t tell you how great it is to see real students. I continue to teach all 30 each and every day. They make each day a wonderful adventure!” 

   Though it can be difficult at times, Herreria said, “Our teachers have been creative and resilient throughout this entire pandemic. Whether the student is on campus or remains at home, the teacher will find a creative way to bring them both together and make it all work. That is what hybrid learning is all about.”

   At Gabrielino High School, seniors have been divided into Cohort A and B and they come to campus twice a week to attend class. Wednesdays are remote learning days during which all students remain at home and attend their Embedded Time class and any interventions virtually. 

   “Being on campus was weird at first, but overall a good experience,” explained senior Claire Bailey. “Once I realized my expectations of ‘100% normal Gab’ were unrealistic, it got better. I’m able to talk to some friends in the 15-minute intervals between class and it’s nice because I see the same five or six people each time.”

   Senior teachers are adjusting to the hybrid format of teaching students in person and on Zoom at the same time. Many have noted that the number of students actually in the classroom is small, with the majority of seniors opting to remain in the Virtual Academy.

   “I’m pleased that I’ve gotten to meet 12 of my AP English Literature students and ten of my senior English students in person,” said Scott Facher, English teacher. He added, “I understand why [most] seniors chose not to come back, but it feels like a bit of a ghost town on campus.”

On Monday, Gabrielino will welcome back to campus its ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students who have opted in for hybrid learning.

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SGUSD reopens campuses