Planning the First Day of School 2020-21

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The plan on how to reopen local schools, including CV High School, will be the topic at next Tuesday’s GUSD meeting.


At next Tuesday’s Glendale Unified School District board meeting, the board and district administration will be discussing the reopening of schools and what that might look like. In the meantime, the California Dept. of Education Superintendent Tony Thurmond held a briefing on Wednesday to discuss how the state office is working with districts to reopen schools.

There are 6.2 million students in public education across the state, said Thurmond. He praised their resilience.

“This is uncharted territory that no one was prepared for, but I am deeply impressed by how the education system has moved into this [new way of learning] in such a short period of time,” he said, “literally overnight.”

The CDE will not mandate a date for schools statewide to open; the schedules will be determined by individual districts. However, there will be guidelines in place to help schools prepare to open.

Throughout the pandemic CDE has offered webinars providing a variety of supportive services from mental health support for staff and students to distance learning.

“And this pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities about our education system, in our state and our nation, like the fact that a million of our students don’t have access to internet connectivity,” he said.

Thurmond added they are striving to respond to the educational needs of students to help close the divide in the student achievement gap.

He said he has heard from parents about how hard it has been for students in their distance learning programs and he hopes to add more supportive webinars to support those students.

The May revision of the state budget – the May revise – will be released today, Thursday, May 14. Thurmond said this budget will be a difficult one with projections of revenue falling dramatically.

“Given what we know about how schools get money from sales tax and income tax, it is not surprising [there is] a huge decline in revenue,” Thurmond said. “We are anticipating a very difficult budget.”

Some school districts will be opening sooner than others. Some may open and students will attend in shifts, one group in the morning and one group in the afternoon.

“I want to be really clear that opening will happen in a way that will [reflect] safety first,” he said.

No school will be asked to open before its administrators feel they have enough support. He added that classrooms would be open with social distancing in place and some teachers and students will be wearing masks. The exact guidelines are being worked on now by individual districts and the CDE.

There may be other changes, not only in how students and teachers approach the classroom but also how schoolwork is approached and “how we address learning.”

The future of public schools is not the only educational system that is facing reopening in a pandemic. California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White released a statement on his decision to have classes “mostly” virtual.

“This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast. Virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to safely travel to campus,” he stated. “Consequently, our planning approach will result in CSU courses primarily being delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare. There will be hybrid approaches and there will be variability across the 23 campuses due to specific context and circumstances.”

The exceptions could include “essential physical and life science laboratory classes enabling degree completion and entry into the energy and bioscience fields.” There will be exception permits for in-person activities as well.

What this means for on campus housing will be left up to each college.

“Campus-specific plans are being finalized and each of the campuses will communicate to students about the prospective availability and necessity of housing in the coming weeks,” stated a CSU spokesperson.

The best thing for students who are starting their college journey, and their parents, is to keep an eye on any emails from the school and call the schools directly.

For GUSD, the discussion continues at the school board meeting on Tuesday. To watch the meeting, visit