The Manhattan Beach school community learned yesterday that LA County approved the waivers for all five MBUSD elementary schools submitted on October 23rd. The waiver applications included a letter of support from the city, parent organizations, and the teacher and classified unions – despite the latter requirement being lifted the day prior and thought to be the reason for the lack of applications from public school districts. MBUSD is focused on finalizing the protocols for returning to the elementary campus with a 3-phase schedule.
All elementary parents were sent a survey last week asking them to commit to one of two learning models: a hybrid learning or a distance learning model. Parents were also given the option to be paired with the child’s current teacher regardless of the learning model the teacher is engaged in. Creating a schedule that works for both is complex, and parents of students K-5 needed to make a decision on which option is best for their child for the remainder of the school year. Although the waiver focuses on TK-2 students only, MBUSD is preparing for an in-person option for all K-5 students. In fact, education leaders in our district, including Superintendent Mike Matthews and the MBEF Board, have collaborated with other local communities to submit a letter to Supervisor Janice Hahn and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health, requesting that the waiver process be both expediated and extended to grade 5. Please see the MBUSD Elementary Hybrid FAQ page for more information.
While LA remains in the Purple Tier, LA County of Department of Public Health is only considering hybrid learning in cohorts of 12 or fewer. This makes it difficult for large secondary schools like MCHS and MBMS to open before Los Angeles County moves to the Red Tier. To gain insight, MBUSD also sent a survey out this week asking all students at MBMS and MCHS a series of questions about academics and life during distance learning. The preliminary results were presented at the MBUSD Board Meeting earlier this week and will be summarized in Dr. Matthews’ Monday Morning Message next week. To stay informed on MBUSD’s plans, please see Re-Opening Our Schools 2020-21 for a continuous synopsis of the progress.