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LMUSD holds special meeting to discuss update on moving back to the classroom

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Posted at 11:40 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 02:40:14-04

Lucia Mar Unified School District held a special meeting Friday, Oct. 16, to discuss options for returning to the classroom. Parents and teachers shared varying viewpoints on what a return to in-person learning may look like.

“Moving forward we’re really focusing on the in-person instruction so should the board make an action tonight, we have more specifics to move forward on," Jennifer Handy of LMUSD Human Resources said.

The school district says their goal right now is to be back in the classroom, but the biggest question is how to do so safely.

“One thing that we all have experience and know from this pandemic is that it rapidly changes and when we make a plan and we set that plan in forward motion, things often cause that plan to change," LMUSD Superintendent Paul Fawcett said.

The LMUSD is proposing a hybrid model with both a morning and afternoon sessions.

If approved, elementary schools in the district would be able to return to the classroom on Nov. 30, while middle and high school students would wait to return until Jan. 11, 2021.

Many parents at Friday's special board meeting expressed their concerns about the future success of their child.

“I know that these children are our future and I know that if we don’t put our energy into them, we’re going to have a lost generation," LMUSD parent Lorena Schultz said.

A hybrid format puts many teachers on edge, concerned about how to juggle students in the classroom and online.

“Parents do not realize in the hybrid model offers about a 50% reduction of teacher time to their student," Paulding Middle School Teacher Steve Labrie said.

Another teacher feels until all students can come back, it doesn't make any sense to bring half of them back into the classroom for half of a day at a time.

One parent from Pismo Beach says she pulled her daughters out of the district, as she felt it wasn't ready to operate in a virtual capacity.

“I know that right now we are not in a perfect world, so just being able to get back as soon as possible even with the hybrid platform would be much more beneficial than what they’re doing right now," LMUSD parent Cyndi Mitchell said.

The district says it will be issuing a survey to families on the proposed hybrid a.m./p.m. model.

For elementary school families, the survey deadline is Oct. 30. For middle and high schools, the deadline is Nov. 6.

The district will be holding their regular board meeting on Oct. 20.