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AUSD Board of Ed Hears Fall Teaching Plans

An enthusiastic group of fourth and fifth graders offer their suggestions during a workshop in February, 2020. Photo by Helen Arase

Location

Alhambra , CA

Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education heard presentations by district administrators on educating in the time of COVID-19. The Tuesday meeting reviewed and held public hearings for teaching standards and support for students’ learning and attendance.

The majority of information on instruction and support was not new information, but rather a review of outcomes and reinforcement of the plan laid out over the summer.

The state requires the board to adopt a COVID-19-specific “Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan” for this 2020-2021 year, by Sept. 30. The board will adopt the plans at the next meeting, Sept. 29.

The instruction materials covered the district’s meeting of expectations for delivery of education – daily virtual “face-to-face” instruction, monitoring participation and attendance, opportunities for small group instruction and accommodations for special needs or circumstances.

The district reviewed its plan to address learning loss and testing, including delaying of yearly assessments, evaluating over time and being flexible for unusual circumstances while still delivering rigorous lessons. Review the instruction plan here.

The learning continuity plan addressed technology or materials needed for attending school, wellness, special needs or interventions and recording participation.

The district is working with families to distribute laptops and internet hotspots get all students online. The district is working to replace textbooks not returned last year – some students will have access to digital books while others will have printed ones.

The district is working to contact students and families with low participation to discuss many other topics beside technical ones – mental health, effects of COVID-19 and housing.

At the moment, L.A. County Department of Public Health is accepting applications for limited specialized services at individual schools within the district.

Specialized needs students support is high priority for the district, but it says it needs to work through safety protocols first. However, the district will be testing English Language learners at San Gabriel High School.

AUSD was erroneously listed as applying for a campus to open with specialized TK-12 services, though it was the private Catholic school in the city – St. Therese Carmelite School – which applied. The issue is now corrected.

In other business, assistant superintendent of financial services Josephine Quach gave a presentation on the final but yet-to-be independently audited balance of last fiscal year’s budget.

The district’s unrestricted fund balance – think savings account or emergency cash – is $39 million dollars. That is just enough money for the district to function for two months, at $19 million per month – if something were to happen to its cashflow revenue.

Health and safety supplies like PPE and disinfectants along with the rapid technology upgrades are high on the spending list for the district, but expensive.

The administrators also covered the successes of district teachers and students – an English Language academy for students and their parents, Feed Alhambra food distribution and yearly awards.

RSVP on Eventbrite.

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