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How Your School District Plans To Face the 2020-2021 Academic Year

2020 has been a year riddled with uncertainty. As leaders and officials at federal, state and county levels scramble to devise plans to navigate a COVID-19 world, school officials have pretty much been left alone to do the same. 

Public schools across Southern California have been tasked with determining whether it is safe for students to return to school in the fall.

Some school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified, had initially planned to offer students and parents the option to choose between a few learning options:

  • hybrid learning style, which would have seen kids physically attending classes about two days a week alongside three days of online instruction.

  • Online distance-learning, where students would receive consistent, live instruction and support

  • And for high schoolers, an online learning academy, or the Virtual Academy Program. This model was intended to provide students with access to an array of on-line A-G approved courses. 

However, as the State of California begins to quickly roll-back its reopening program, school officials have also had to rethink what they intend for the 2020-2021 academic year to look like. 

Not long after LAUSD, the second largest school district in the nation, proposed its preferred three-model learning system, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced that he feels students should stay home until widespread testing is available to all K-12 students and employees. 

Beutner acknowledged that “The best place for students to learn is in a school setting,” but also believes that the district “can’t do it until it’s safe and appropriate,” and will therefore be keeping all classes online indefinitely.

Some neighboring school districts have agreed and followed suit, announcing that classes will continue in distance-learning settings. Long Beach Unified, as well as Riverside and San Diego Unified School Districts announced that they will also be returning to online instruction.

However, in a controversial 4-1 vote on July 13, Orange County School Board decided that students in the OC would be resuming in-person classes at the start of the 20-21 calendar. Further, masks would be optional for students and staff and social-distancing would not be enforced.

Other unified school districts throughout the Inland Empire, including Lake Elsinore, Murrieta Valley and Corona-Norco have opted to begin classes online before transitioning to on-campus instruction as conditions allow.

While some districts throughout the SoCal region are still yet to hold board meetings to determine the fate of their schools, it is too soon to tell how the remainder of California’s youth will be spending their fall semester.

No matter the learning model, please know that the attorneys at Holloway and Kimberlin are still here and ready to advocate for the quality of education your child is entitled to and deserves. 

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