By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees met virtually on Tuesday, May 18, to provide updates following students’ return to campus earlier that month.
Director of Operations Don Parcell said the school’s “COVID-19 Task Force” recently decided to reduce the physical distance measurements from the previous six-foot requirement to three feet, following discussions with labor partners.
Parcell added the school is going to remain consistent with county and state guidelines, and mask wearing was going to remain in place as students spend time on campus for the school’s In-Person Faculty Led Instruction and Back to Campus programs.
Incoming ASB President Chris Clausen expressed his support of i-FLI and B2C, sharing that he is a part of them and has heard overwhelming support of the programs from his peers.
“I think the current schedule we [have] is a great way for students to get reintegrated with the campus,” Clausen said. “I think it’s great that even though we’ve dealt with a very difficult year, that students get to meet with their teachers and have that face-to-face, personal interaction, and I think we’re all very optimistic for the future.”
Non-Traveling Parent Board Member Jewlz Fahn extended the same sentiment as part of her parent report when she thanked administration and teachers for getting students back on campus.
“The kids that are back on campus are grinning from ear to ear, they are reacting to a bit of normalcy that has been handed back to them,” Fahn said during her report. “And whoever thought that we as parents would hear the words, ‘I miss going back to school’ … my son has told me personally what a difference it has been to be learning inside a classroom versus a computer screen and for this, I thank you.”
Teacher John Rauschuber’s faculty report struck a different note when he shared his frustration regarding the board process and the lack of public conversation before announcing the school’s May 10 reopening. He said a number of his colleagues were under the impression that a return to campus this academic school year would be voluntary and that was not the case.
“Our teachers were given a week and a half at best to come back to campus,” he said. “It was horrific what was done to our teachers.”
A number of teacher-board members expressed a plea for clarification, for negotiations to be completed and workdays to be established ahead of the 2021-22 school year.
Regarding graduation, Parcell said there are a number of requirements that the county has in place, including capacity restrictions and physical distancing. He said households must be distanced six feet and only two guests per graduate are allowed to attend, as opposed to four. Unless a guest is a California resident, they must be fully vaccinated—meaning that an out-state-guest would need to show proof of their vaccination and California residents would need to provide proof of their residency.
The guidance comes from LA Public Health’s guidelines for live outdoor events, Parcell explained.
“We have to go through our three-part health check and all those types of things to let anybody in anyways, so we’re still doing [a] symptoms check, and temperature check and health check and all those types of things as well,” Parcell said.
He said a lot is in play and discussions were slated to take place in the following days with the school’s COVID-19 Task Force. Chris Lee, director guidance and planning/assistant principal, assured attendees that the graduation ceremony will be simulcast.
The board’s next meeting, which will be a budget meeting, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 22.
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