The Culver City Unified School Board meeting of June 23, 2020 took on the large challenge of beginning to strategize how schools will re-open in September. School Superintendent Leslie Lockhart began with her focus on “keeping students and staff healthy and safe.”
With five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and on adult school, the logistics are complex, but the administration is up to the challenge. “We want everyone to understand that all of our work is in compliance with the state and the county.” Lockhart continued, “This is a work in progress and things do change all the time. Schools can re-open and things can change on a dime. There are 80 school districts [in the state of California] and we are all different. We have to be prepared to change swiftly in anticipation with community health, and there will be re-opening information on the CCUSD website.”
The school re-opening committee has 86 committee members, and there are seven sub-committees working on the re-opening plans, so while the complexity is a challenge, CCUSD is committed to examine and confirm every detail that can have an effect on students and staff.
Lockhart noted “This is what makes the planning so difficult we are really chasing a moving target. We have had an up-tick in cases in LA, what we need is patience and flexibility.”
The top goals focused on were to keep students safe and healthy, and to ensure continuity of instruction, while maintaining access and equity throughout the district.
Elementary schools will be broken out into ‘cohorts’ with options to attend two days a week, or continue instruction from home, online. Cohorts identified as A,B and C would offer the option of attending school joined with remote learning. Cohort (A) would be at school on Monday and Thursday, with online instruction Wednesday and Friday. Cohort (B) would reverse that, with online instruction happening Monday and Thursday, and in person attendance Wednesday and Friday. Cohort (C) would be receiving instruction remotely.
School Nurse Dianna Castro presented information from the Health and Safety subcommittee, on how he district will “develop and continue with response protocol” on things like hand-washing and care for face coverings. “If there were to be someone taken ill at school, we will have a procedure for isolating that student or staff member immediately.”
Cafeterias will continue to serve “grab and go” meals, bathrooms will be cleaned per the CDC guidelines, but libraries and computer and science labs may not be open unless there can be cleanings in between students access. Further consideration will take place on how safe it will be to open these spaces.
Congestion will be limited by keeping hallways as one-way traffic, and there may be new procedures for drop off and pick up.
Castro closed by saying “I’m looking at all avenues and available to take other suggestions; we are always looking to be better.”
CCUSD is offering that there will be more information available as policies are put into place, but, as with all aspects of the pandemic, unexpected changes are expected.