Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) Prepares to Welcome Students Back on Campuses

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IT News Wire

During Inglewood Unified School District’s (IUSD) Board of Education meeting on March 10, 2021, County Administrator Dr. Erika Torres shared the proactive steps and plans the District has taken to prepare for the reopening of IUSD schools. Dr. Torres was joined in her comprehensive presentation by the District’s Chief Operating Officer, Norberto Perez, and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Bernadette Lucas.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) recently announced that L.A. County schools are permitted to reopen for in-person instruction for students at grade levels TK-6.

Although the District understands that everyone is looking forward to safely returning to our school campuses, the District will take a careful, phased approach in transitioning to in-person instruction.

Dr. Torres shared that “the highest priority of the District has been and will remain the health and safety of our students and staff and fostering a safe, welcoming, and nurturing learning environment for all.”

A critical component to the safe reopening of IUSD schools is the accessibility and distribution of vaccines.

Dr. Torres proudly announced that “we partnered with Beach Cities Health District to distribute vaccines to our staff. For our staff who are unable to secure an appointment through their own health provider or with one of the community distribution sites, we are making vaccines readily available through our partnership with Beach Cities Health District. Today, Inglewood HS was opened as a vaccine distribution site for our Inglewood Unified staff only.”

The District’s plan to reopen schools will be done on a phased approach starting with the youngest grades.

Chief Operating Officer, Norberto Perez, shared that “the pandemic has necessitated new thinking around the use of space, cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation and response to a possible outbreak, among other things.” In the Spring of 2020, Inglewood Unified convened a Reopening of Schools Task force and has worked collaboratively with multiple stakeholders — board members, district staff and administrators, labor partners, students, parents, community partners —to take the recommendations and requirements of federal, state, and county public health officials to develop a comprehensive IUSD “Health and Safety Plan.” The plan describes in detail the protocols and measures IUSD is taking to ensure the health and safety at our district and school facilities. Families can find this Health and Safety Plan on the district’s website at ​www.inglewoodusd.com​ in the COVID-19 Updates section.

The District understands the importance of supporting every area to ensure students are learning in a safe environment. The areas IUSD focused on in their reopening plans are Family & Community Engagement, Health & Safety, Instruction, Operations, and Social Emotional Support. The District’s leadership team focused their presentation during the Board meeting on Health & Safety and Instruction.

Health & Safety

The team presenting reassured the school community that all LACDPH guidelines will be followed for reopening. Some of the ways that the District has prepared include:

● All classrooms will be set up based on the LACDPH guidelines to follow the 6 feet social distancing guidance.

● Appropriate signage will be posted at all high traffic areas to identify sanitizing stations, promote social distancing, reinforce hand washing, face mask requirements, and more.

● Cleaning schedules will follow sanitization guidelines.

Employees, parents and guardians, students, and visitors will be required to conduct a daily self-screen at home before reporting to school or work.

All staff and students will be required to enter any school or district property ONLY via identified points of entry. Everyone will need to adhere with all safety guidelines, including temperature checks and wellness pre-screening questions.

Sanitizing stations and dispensers will be allocated in high traffic areas.

Social distancing will be enforced with signage throughout our campuses.

If an employee or student should develop symptoms while at school or work, they will be isolated and sent home in adherence to safety protocols.

These were just a few highlights from the Health and Safety plan that have been developed.

Instructional Delivery Options – Current Full-Time Virtual Learning vs. Hybrid Model

The presentation continued with the District’s Chief Academic Office, Dr. Lucas, who shared that when the school district reopens, students will be offered two instructional delivery options.

Option 1 is the Virtual Model where families can opt for their child to remain at home in the current 5-day virtual program, while option 2 is the Hybrid model where families can choose for their child to transition to a hybrid model, which will include both in-person instruction at school 2 days per week and virtual distance learning at home 3 days per week.

Dr. Lucas reinforced that the District is committed to the guiding principles for reopening schools as developed by the Reopening Task Force.

● Ensuring access and equity to high quality instruction and learning to all students

● Ensuring the health, safety, and social emotional well-being of all students and staff

● Ensuring that all stakeholders are actively engaged in the development of our IUSD

comprehensive school reopening plan:

To ensure families have the opportunity to choose from the two options, Dr. Torres encouraged parents and guardians to fill out and submit the Reopening Model Selection Form by March 19, 2021, to indicate their preference for continuing in the current virtual model or transitioning to the hybrid in-person model.

The District’s dedication and mission to serving the youth and families of the District is clear – Inglewood Unified cares for their community, is committed to providing high quality instruction and is ready and excited to welcome students back on campus.

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