The Pasadena Unified School District will reopen to students on Aug. 17, making use of a blend of both in-person and distance learning to keep the number of students on campus at any one time to a minimum, the superintendent announced Thursday.
The plan, which is outlined online at pusd.us/reopening, is designed to be adaptable, allowing the district to respond to evolving state and county guidelines prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we would rather open schools in person, we are planning to reopen in a way that accounts for the fact that the COVID-19 virus will more than likely still be with us with no vaccine available,” PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald said in an email sent to parents Wednesday afternoon.
“The health and safety of our students and staff is at the forefront of our minds. If health restrictions are lifted by the appropriate authorities and we deem it safe, we will move into a regular, in-classroom mode,” he said.
Versions of the plan were discussed in prior meetings, and a survey was sent to parents prior to the plan being formed, officials said.
“Based on state and local public health guidelines for school and the results of parent and staff surveys, our Pasadena Unified School District Reopening Task Force has developed plans to create safe learning environments for all students,” McDonald said.
No more than 50% of the student population will be permitted to be on campus during any given day to foster social distancing, according to the district outline. Masks will be required, and measures such as frequent cleaning and enforcement of social distancing will be in place.
Officials were also in the process of designing a “fully online learning option” for families not comfortable returning to school physically yet.
“We will send out a survey in the next few days to determine the number of students who plan to enroll in virtual learning,” McDonald said. “Information on how to register is now being developed and will be shared with you as soon as possible”
McDonald also said the district was working on ways to address the issue of child care on days when students are not scheduled to be on campus.
“Childcare during non-classroom days is an urgent matter, and we are working with community partners to provide services to our students and their families,” he said.