The Palm Springs Unified School District's school board approved proposed plans for the upcoming school year Tuesday evening as the district takes a more deliberate approach to finalize a back-to-school plan.
What classrooms will look like for students in a couple of months is one of the biggest decisions our valley districts have to make this summer the decision affecting families.
“It’s hard to know what all the options are and everything changes day-to-day," said Jaime Davidson, PSUSD parents.
District administrators presented reopening plans to the board focussing on starting the upcoming school year with a complete distance learning approach.
“Coming from the perspective of special education moderate, severe," said in a public comment. "This population sometimes can struggle with online learning making it difficult for students to have success,” Davidson said.
President Donald Trump launched an all-out effort to press state and local officials to reopen school campuses this fall. The President says some are keeping schools closed not because of coronavirus risks but for political reasons.
The district also analyzing different methods including a hybrid system after labor day as long as health guidelines allowing it.
“I’ll be honest we have a very challenging task ahead of us," said Mike Swize, Assistant Superintendent for PSUSD.
Classes are still set to resume August 5th part of the discussion plan was making recommendations that include two to three hours of synchronized instruction daily. Also, having independent study time, where teachers could provide one-on-one support when needed. As for high school and middle schoolers, they would have to alternate weekly during Wednesday periods.
A White House roundtable on Tuesday saw health and education leaders who said schools and colleges can open safely. They argue that the risks of keeping students at home outweigh any risks tied to the coronavirus and that students need access to meals and mental and behavioral health services.
“It’s about the instructional structure and the plan for when teachers and students return to work and the kind of teaching they’ll be doing," said Mike Swize, Assistant Superintendent for PSUSD.
Along with trying to finalize a back to school plan, The African American Parent Advisory Board Council also making comment about defunding school resource officers for next year.
“Do we need to spend $646,000 on four RSO officers?," said Charlie Ervin, board member of AAPAC.
But that decision hasn’t been made either.
“We do sign them annually and we have not signed those contracts for the upcoming year," said Sandra Lyon, PSUSD Superintendent.
According to PSUSD superintendent, Dr. Sandra Lyon, there’s still a long way to go as they try to learn from the previous school year.
“We know that through this process there will be changes to instructional program," said Swize. "We are going to be modifying, we are going to be changing, improving things as we learn and move forward.”
Following this board meeting, focus groups-made up of teachers, parents will come together to provide feedback until they meet again on July 28th.
For full agenda. Click Here.
You can view the meeting live on YouTube at this link https://bit.ly/psusdlive