LBUSD to offer virtual and in-person learning options for fall semester

Parents and students in the Long Beach Unified School District will be able to choose among in-person and virtual learning plans for the fall semester, with class sizes drastically reduced and an option for at-home classes at each grade level.

“With a safety and equity lens in mind, we’ve been working nonstop to answer as many questions about the future as we can,” Deputy Superintendent Jill Baker said in a video Wednesday outlining the district’s plans.

Long Beach and districts across the state are devising plans for a school year that will continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, focused on social distancing and other guidelines established by health officials.

Baker said that in a few weeks, LBUSD families will be able to choose from a range of options, which will be different for each grade level. Baker said that because of state and local health department guidelines, the district is planning on limiting the size of each class to 14-17 students.

Classrooms will look different, with less space for workstations and teacher materials, Baker said. Temperature checks and requirements that students and staff wear face coverings will also be in place. The district has secured a range of personal protective equipment for teachers and students while on campus.

The school year was interrupted in mid-March after the state issued stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Most primary and secondary schools are making plans to reduce large gatherings of students, faculty and staff into 2021.

Baker said the district remains hopeful that state and regional authorities will allow in-person education at least through the fall.

Long Beach’s school begins for students on Sept. 1.

Here’s a summary of what options are in store for each grade level.

Elementary schools

Parents of elementary school students will be able to select an in-person option that would see students in the classroom with their teacher for half of the day, and then in a “supervised learning environment” for the other half of the day.

There will be a hybrid option where students can spend half of the day with their teacher, and the other half of the day at home with work to complete.

There will also be distance learning options available that will allow students to do all of their learning at home. “The virtual option will include live instruction from the teacher, and independent assignments to be completed during the day,” said Baker.

Middle schools

Middle schools students will also have an on-campus option that would allow them to receive in-person instruction part-time, with childcare options available for families that need their children on campus five days a week.

Middle school students will also be able to do their learning at home with an LBUSD teacher, with expanded independent learning options.

High schools

High school students will be on an every other day schedule for in-person learning, with digital learning and work from home on the other days.

They’ll also have independent learning options that includes dual enrollment to LBUSD and Long Beach City College.

Baker said the district will provide more details on July 15. The district will keep parents up to date through video messages and emails.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the portion of the story about middle schools.

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