BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - The start of school is just six weeks away for many students in Southern California, but despite the looming start date, many districts are still unsure about their own reopening plans.
“I feel for the people in the decision-making capacities because it’s really difficult. I think they’re doing the best they can,” said Elana Cohen, a mother of two. She doesn’t think that the ‘hybrid’ option that many districts are considering will work.
“I feel like neither of those solutions really does the trick - I feel like kids need to be in school full-time. I think it’s really hard, especially with younger children to acclimate them when they’re only spending half of their time in school and half of their time out of school,” she said.
The hybrid model is one of the options on the table for students in the Beverly Hills Unified School District. It was was one of the first in the Southland to formally announce its options for the fall: a choice between a mix of virtual and in-person learning, or the virtual Independent Learning Center, which was originally designed for students with non-traditional learning styles.
The hybrid option would divide students into two different cohorts - each would spend a 4-day week at school, and one week of virtual home-learning. Fullerton Unified in Orange County recently announced a similar plan.
Districts all over the Southland are grappling with how to move forward.
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s superintendent said this week that there’s still no timetable on when the district’s schools might reopen, but indicated that it might proceed with some sort of a hybrid model.
Santa Monica Malibu Unified hasn't formally announced its plans, but Malibu schools held a virtual town hall today to discuss reopening options. The Santa Ana Unified School District also held a Special Board of Education meeting this evening where fall plans were to be discussed.
Some private schools have indicated that they plan to return to full-day school with proper safety precautions in place. Cohen’s four-year-old son attends one in Beverly Hills.
“They’re going to have temperature checks and masks and reduced class sizes and no parents on campus, and it just feels like they’re really taking proper measures to make us feel comfortable and safe, so as a parent, I’m comfortable with that, and I feel 100 percent on board with returning my son to school in the fall,” she said.