Pasadena Unified Reaches Agreement with Educators to Safely Reopen Middle and High Schools

In-person instruction to begin opening April 20 for grades 6-12

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) and United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) reached an agreement on reopening middle and high schools for in-person instruction, setting the date for student cohorts to begin returning to campus on April 20, 2021.

“We’re very pleased to come to this agreement with UTP,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D. “Teachers and other employees represented by UTP are a vital link to student learning. Our goal has always been to work collaboratively with our labor partners in coming to a solution that benefits our entire PUSD community.”

As previously announced, PUSD student cohorts in preschool through second grade will begin returning April 13. Student cohorts in grades 3-5 return April 20.

Student cohorts in grades 6-12 will begin to return for in-person instruction on April 20 in the hybrid simultaneous learning model where groups of students are in the classroom and their classmates remain in distance learning.

About Simultaneous Learning

“The return to in-person learning, when students can interact with their peers and meet face to face with their teachers, is a tremendous step forward as our community recovers from the pandemic,” said Superintendent McDonald. “We are excited to welcome students back to campus.”

Students who select in-person learning will be on campus in cohorts for two consecutive days between Tuesday and Friday and the remainder of the week in distance learning. Students will be on campus either Tuesday-Wednesday or Thursday-Friday, depending on their cohort assignment.

Cohorts will be assigned according to the results of the Return to Campus Survey which closes for 6-12 parents/guardians on April 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Schools will notify parents/guardians about their students’ cohort assignments the week of April 12. Middle and high schools will hold orientation sessions for their school communities the week of April 12.

School Day Schedule:
The number of instructional minutes and start/dismissal times remain the same. Schools will send out specific schedules about class periods, as these may vary by campus.

In-person student cohorts will exit from the campus at lunchtime and resume personalized learning time at home until the school day dismisses. Personalized learning time includes small-group and/or asynchronous learning.

Asynchronous Learning Days
Middle and high school UTP members will have up to three days (April 1, 2, and 12) to prepare classrooms for social distancing. Students may be in asynchronous learning on those days. Students in grades 6-12 should check their Canvas account for directions from their teachers on April 1, 2, and 12.

UTP members in middle and high school will return to work locations on April 13 and teachers will be teaching from their classroom while 6-12th grade students remain in distance learning. Grade 6-12 student cohorts will begin returning to campus on April 20.

Middle and High Schools Reopening Calendar
April 1, 2, 12
Students in grades 6-12 may be in asynchronous learning days while teachers prepare for social distancing. Students should check their Canvas account for directions from their teachers on April 1, 2, and 12.

April 7
Return to School Survey for grades 6-12 closes at 11:59 p.m. Complete the survey at

April 13-16
Students in synchronous distance learning. Teachers will be in their classrooms.

April 19
All students in distance learning

April 20
Middle and high school student cohorts begin returning to campus
Student cohorts in grades 3-5 also begin returning


For more information, visit


Pasadena Now has been published daily since April, 2004 and is among the very oldest continously operated community news websites in the U.S.

Pasadena Now strives to publish a full spectrum of news and information articles in service to the entire community. The publication will remain free to readers and will not erect paywalls.

Pasadena Now strives to provide factual, unbiased reporting. Our opinion section is open to all.