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School Board Approves Full Reopening of Pasadena Unified Campuses for Fall Term

Unanimous vote also provides for some distance learning, independent study

Published on Friday, May 7, 2021 | 5:55 am

The Pasadena Board of Education Thursday voted unanimously to authorize a plan for a full reopening of all Pasadena Unified schools in all grades with in-person instruction by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

After more than 13 months of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PUSD reopened its school campuses district-wide last month with students attending classes on limited days with small groups of fellow students, called “cohorts.”

As the approved resolution said “given the drastically reduced case rates in Los Angeles County, the District will now commit to offering the option of in-person instruction five days a week to all students in all of our schools by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, in accordance with ongoing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).”

The District also noted that since “the ability to provide distance learning in the Fall is currently approved by California Department of Education (CDE) in the form of Independent Study,” it anticipated that any other learning options will be provided in the Governor’s May Revision of the 2021-2022 State Education Budget, which will be made available on or about May 20, 2021.

Board Member Tina Fredericks, in response to a parent’s public comment, asked PUSD Chief Business Officer Leslie Barnes whether the District would be providing CO2 monitors for school heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the new semester.

Barnes responded that as part of State Assembly Bill 841, CO2monitors will be required in all thermostats, and that the District would be applying for state funds to pay for them later this month. Because PUSD has already completed the inspections of its HVAC system, said Barnes, the District “will be able to move faster than other school districts.”

Any stipulations on COVID-19 safety measures will be implemented in accordance with ongoing guidance by the California Department of Public Health and CalOSHA, the resolution also stated.

PUSD Chief Human Resources Officer Steven Miller told the Board that he would immediately begin to meet with the District’s labor unions following the vote, saying that “Negotiations would be contingent on … any constraints that are put on the opening of school, particularly if they have anything to do with the working conditions of our labor partners. We would then engage them in a negotiated process around those working conditions.”

Miller told the Board that the District should have more information from the state on specific guidance for school reopenings by June 15 at the latest.

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