LBUSD Mgm't Plans To Reopen Schools Without Offering Online Learning Option; Policy-Setting School Board Skeds Special Meeting Aug. 17 On Reopening Health Safety Matters AND Independent Study
|(Aug. 12, 2021, 11:25 p.m.) -- In an Aug. 12 webcast (hosted by LBUSD. LB's Dept. of Health/Human Services and MemorialCare Miller Children's And Women's Hospital Long Beach) LBUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Brown Ed.D, acknowledged that LBUSD staff doesn't plan to offer an online learning option to parents who don't want to put their children in classrooms with students and possibly teachers who are unvaccinated or of unknown vaccination status.
Tiffany Brown: [I]ndependent study is the option that is available for a family that chooses for their child to not come to in-person instruction, We're not planning for an online program right now...The thing that would cause us to provide an online program would be if we needed to have a closure. So while we have a plan in place should we need to do that I want to be clear that we're not planning for a virtual option in lieu of in-person instruction this year.
As matter of basic civics, non-elected LBUSD staff (including Sup't Jill Baker, Deputy Sup't Tiffany Brown et al.) don't set LBUSD policy. LBUSD's elected School Board members set policy.
And on Aug. 17, the School Board has scheduled a special meeting at which it will publicly receive, discuss and make motions on a "School Opening Update" regarding Health & Safety matters (10:45 a.m.) and Independent Study (12:30 p.m.)
However the Aug. 17 School Board meeting to discuss these policy matters comes a day after LBUSD management has scheduled an Aug. 16 online webinar to tell the public how management plans to handle reopening and an "independent study" option.
Opinions of parents on reopening and related issues, visible on social networks, have varied widely. Some strongly favor the scheduled Aug. 31 reopening, saying it's overdue (and some saying LBUSD's online learning last year was inadequate.) Others indicate they'd like some type of meaningful option to putting their child in classrooms carrying risks that officials say is small.
LBUSD's planned Aug. 31 reopening takes place as a more contagious Delta variant surges. In addition, for those vaccinated months ago (who could include teachers and support staff), "breakthrough" cases are now surfacing. Most are reported mild but at least one prominent individual locally -- former Signal Tribune owner/publisher Neena Strichart -- contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. The virus landed her in an ICU for nearly three weeks and she now faces a difficult recovery (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
Ms. Strichart says the vaccination likely saved her life by preventing an even worse case and she continues to urge unvaccinated persons to get vaccinated.
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