GLENDALE, Calif. - Public elementary schools in Glendale will begin a phased return to in-person instruction on March 29, as coronavirus rates across the Southland continue to drop.
On Tuesday, the Glendale Unified School District's Board of Education directed district leaders to move forward with its plan for a phased return of elementary students to campuses. Teachers will return to campus on March 23, following the spring break holiday. Students in transitional kindergarten through second grade will resume in-person learning on Monday, March 29, and students in grades three through six will resume in-person learning the following Monday, April 5.
The district will still offer a full-time distance learning option for the remainder of the school year for all families who choose not to return to campus.
The schools will operate on a hybrid schedule to maintain proper physical distancing, with students alternating between on-campus and distance learning in stable groups. Child care in the district's Technology Learning Pods will continue to be available on days when students are distance learning.
District officials are working to assess the need and provide child care for teachers and staff who are reporting to work locations.
"Based on current public health guidelines, we are excited to resume in-person learning for families who choose to return their students to campus,'' Board of Education President Armina Gharpetian said. "We are confident that the health and safety measures being implemented across our district are effective at keeping our students, employees, families, and community safe.''
Glendale Unified has also facilitated COVID-19 vaccination appointments for all teachers and staff who wish to receive a vaccine. Second-dose appointments will occur the week of March 22, before students return.
Officials say they have invested $21 million in federal CARES Act funding to ensure school and district facilities are safe for students and employees. Added health and safety measures include upgraded MERV-13 filters in all HVAC systems; HEPA filters in classrooms; touchless thermometers at entrances to all facilities; portable handwashing stations and water fountains converted to handwashing and water bottle filling stations; plexiglass desk shields and dividers; stockpiles of health and safety equipment and PPE; and creation of outdoor learning spaces.
"I am incredibly proud of our dedicated administrators, teachers, and staff who have gone above and beyond to ensure our students receive continuity of education in a distance learning environment over the past year. We will continue to work together and support our educators, students, and families as we pivot to hybrid learning,'' Glendale Unified Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said.