Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach schools superintendent Jason Johnson to host virtual TK-2 reopening discussion with parents

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Superintendent Jason Johnson inside a Hermosa Valley classroom laid out for social distancing. He will lead a virtual panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. on reopening TK-2 classes. Photo by Philicia Endelman. (PhiliciaEndelman.com)

by Dan Blackburn

Parents of students in the Hermosa Beach City School District will be updated on progress to re-open TK-2 classroom learning Thursday in a virtual presentation starting at 5:30 p.m.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Johnson will lead a panel including Sylvia Gluck, a principal on special assignment; View School Principal Ted Scott, and Paula Montalbo, the district’s business manager.

“We did some more events in the summer when reopening was still a possibility, but here we are again,” Johnson said Monday. “The goal (of the virtual presentation) is to answer questions from parents and to help alleviate concerns they might have. It’s one thing to give parents a plan; we’re trying to explain that plan in real-time.”

District officials submitted a waiver request Nov. 6 to the Los Angeles County Department of Health (LACDPH) to reopen those grades TK-2 for in-person instruction. As of Monday, officials were still waiting for a response from the county.

Johnson, in a letter to parents last week, noted Los Angeles County has a purple Tier 1 designation, defined as having “widespread” COVID-19 transmission. Tier 1 is the most restrictive of the four designations.

The waiver request along with implementation planning “is the clearest path toward reopening schools,” he wrote.

TK-2 parents will be asked to choose between two options for their children’s education through the end of trimester 2, through March 19, 2021: hybrid, or full-distance learning. Deadline for the selection is Nov. 30. If a preference is not indicated, students will automatically be placed in hybrid learning.

That will allow district planners to “determine how many full distance learning positions will be necessary to meet students’ needs,” according to Johnson.

In a hybrid learning, students attend school four days a week in the morning or afternoon, and participate in remote instruction on Wednesdays.

“This option allows for half of the students to attend school in-person at one time, to comply with social distancing and other health protocols,” Johnson wrote.

During hybrid instruction, emergency school closures might be required if a virus outbreak occurs in a class.

Full distance learning has students participating in remote learning five days a week. Johnson described this as an “opt-in option” for families choosing to continue their child’s education virtually.

During Thursday’s virtual session, Johnson will explain to parents that the district’s goal is to keep hybrid classes “as cohesive as possible and only displace students who have opted for full distance education.”

The virtual session can be watched on a computer, tablet, or smartphone; on Facebook.com@HBCSD; on Spectrum Channel 8; and on Frontier Channel 31. ER

 

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