By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Palisades Charter High School is moving into its next phase of reopening, allowing students to return to in-person, faculty-led instruction after more than a year of distance learning.
Principal Dr. Pamela Magee said approximately 100 students were slated to return to campus Monday, May 3, to participate in on-site, online instruction with their peers and supervising teachers, similar to LAUSD’s “Zoom in a Room” model. On Monday, May 10, the program is going to transition to in-person, instructional, faculty-led learning.
Magee said the upcoming program builds on the phased-in return to campus that began in March and the school’s Back to Campus afternoon enrichment program, which currently has over 500 students enrolled in electives or athletics.
To minimize disruption, she said students’ schedules are not expected to change and will remain the same as their current schedule. Students will have the opportunity to attend classes Monday through Thursday.
All students and staff are required to follow health protocols, which currently include physical distancing, proper use of face masks, and passing the school’s three-part daily health check of symptoms, temperature and a COVID-19 test. All forms of on-campus, in-person interaction requires students to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test on a weekly basis.
Students may opt to continue distance learning, and Magee said Pali High plans to continue the Back to Campus afternoon program, contingent on participation.
Executive Assistant Antoinette Stewart said the school received over 800 responses and approximately 550 students expressed interest in returning to class Monday, May 10, so far.
Stewart said Pali High has made it known that the school would allow students on campus when guidance from CDC, Public Health and their authorizer LAUSD said it would be safe to do so, which has allowed them to make the shift.
Reporting at the end of March that the school took into account feedback from faculty, parents and students, Pali High designed an in-person, after-school program for students, offering “ a variety of opportunities to interact with parents, teachers and support providers.”
LAUSD District 4 Representative Nick Melvoin explained during an April 7 virtual town hall that there are unique challenges in the secondary model, primarily that stable cohorts that can be offered at the elementary school level “are thrown out the window.”
“Students on a typical day are going from six to seven classes,” Melvoin said.
Melvoin shared at the time that he hoped to discuss plans with LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner with the goal of having a full-day schedule come August.
“As we move into the remaining months of the school year, I continue to be reminded of the dedication, commitment and adaptability of Pali High teachers,” Magee said to the Palisadian-Post. “They are our heroes who rapidly and repeatedly adapt to the ever-changing demands of this very challenging year of the pandemic.
“I am grateful for the support of the school community to make this return to a closer to normal school environment for our students, which will help us prepare for a full reopening of school in the fall.”
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