Hermosa gets county ok to reopen TK-2

The Hermosa Beach City School District has received permission to reopen its transitional kindergarten through second grade classes, under a waiver from the Los Angeles County Department of Health, Schools Superintendent Jason Johnson said this week.

“We’re shooting for [Dec. 14] the week before the break.,” he said, “But if necessary it will be the week after. We’ll have to see what’s happening (with the pandemic spread).”

Safety procedures to help prevent spread of COVID-19 will include staggered drop-off times; taking of temperatures; mask wearing; social distancing; and limited play equipment access.

Under current plans, students will attend two-and-a-half hour morning or afternoon classes every day except Wednesday, and participate in distance learning for another two-and-a-half hours on those same four days.

A November 10 survey, completed by families representing 228 of the district’s 325 TK-2 families, found 89 percent preferred a “hybrid” instruction program, with students receiving a combination of on campus and distance learning instruction. The remaining 12 percent (26 families) preferred distance learning only, with no on-campus classes.


In other school business:

Americans “are not not as divided as we thought we might be,” Superintendent Johnson said Tuesday, “and we have more in common than differences.”

Johnson was addressing a Zoom meeting of the Hermosa Beach City School District Equity Task Force, a group combining students and staff, with the objective of advancing “equity, diversity and inclusion among all.”

School board member Maggie Bove-LaMonica said the panel is “working to create accountability in schools that actively promote equity for all.”

“It” is a feature of awareness programs that are becoming a standard structural feature of businesses, educational institutions and other entities: equity, diversity, inclusion (“ETI).”

The group spent part of its session discussing individual perceptions of “white privilege.”

Task force members include Jennifer Cole, school board president; Bove-LaMonica; Johnson; Adam Hobbs; Cary Grange; Erin Starr; Felicia Hunt; Hilary Ferguson; Ray Johnson; Jennifer Cederquist; and Lia Navass.

Scholars have done deep dives into the subject of institutional equity.

Peggy McIntosh, senior research scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, wrote that, “as a white person,” she realized she “had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

“My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will.

Elizabeth Minnich, a colleague of McIntosh’s, noted, “Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow ‘them’ to be more like ‘us.’”

Gina Crosley-Corcoran is a self-described former rocker-chick-turned-mom who writes a blog called The FeministBreeder. She admits that “there are many different types of privilege, not just skin color privilege, that impact the way people can move through the world or are discriminated against. These are all things you are born into, not things you earned, that afford you opportunities others may not have.” ER


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