LBUSD wants parents to pick in-person or online learning by Friday; here’s what’s still uncertain

Parents of the more than 70,000 students in the Long Beach Unified School District face a big decision this week. Friday is the deadline for parents to select whether their students will be allowed to return to campus when—or if—health officials decide it’s safe.

All students will start the semester with virtual learning on Sept. 1 until at least Oct. 5, but parents still have to choose an “instructional program” that could remain entirely online or include in-person teaching when the state has deemed it is safe—something that’s still very much in the air.

How to select your students’ instructional program

Log onto Parentvue through the website or your Parentvue app, then go to the School of Choice tab and click on “Parents Click to Choose a Program for 2020-2021.” That will bring up the options which include entirely virtual learning, attending school in person full-time (elementary school students) or on a hybrid schedule (middle and high school students).

Even though there’s currently no timeline on when hybrid or in-person learning could begin, the district is asking parents to commit to a plan for the year in order to make it possible to create schedules for schools and classes. Parents will be able to switch their choice later in the school year, but with the understanding that it may result in their students’ classes or teachers being shuffled.

According to the LBUSD Board of Education meeting last week, more than half of the parents who’ve already selected a plan want at least some in-person schooling when schools reopen.

How to get questions answered

Last week, the LBUSD produced an FAQ to try to answer parents’ questions about the registration, online learning and school reopening process.

But for those who have more detailed and personalized questions, most school principals are answering phone calls or emails with questions, and several schools have hosted Zoom sessions. You can find more information on your students’ school website, which can be located from the dropdown menus at this link.

Parents, students and teachers should also familiarize themselves with Canvas, the Learning Management System the LBUSD selected to conduct virtual learning this year. There are self-guided trainings for parents and students available on the Canvas website.

What questions remain

There is still a host of lingering questions about how the school day will look. But most of them don’t have answers yet because the district and the Teachers Association of Long Beach have not yet reached an agreement for the 2020-21 school year. That deal will determine everything from the schedule of each school day and the structure of each class, to where teachers will work from while teaching virtually.

The next bargaining date is this Thursday, with two additional dates set up next week. There will also be another LBUSD Board of Education meeting on Aug. 19 where more details could be revealed.

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