The Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) has announced two distinct options for students returning to school in the fall of 2020. Designed in response to parent feedback, as well as ongoing health and safety mandates, the district is offering the following two programs:
Option 1: Independent Learning Center (ILC)
The ILC was established in 2019 with the purpose of supporting students who learn better in a non-traditional classroom setting. Incorporating platforms such as APEX Learning (for secondary students), Goalbook, Seesaw and Google Classroom (elementary students), students must commit to a minimum of one semester of ILC instruction. Admission closes July 15.
Option 2: Hybrid Learning
All students are automatically placed in this option unless they apply for the ILC.
This model provides students with in-person access to instruction at BHUSD campuses. The student population will be divided into two groups (“Cohort A” and “Cohort B”). Each Cohort will be on campus every other week. During the “off week,” students are responsible for engaging with the classroom instruction through their iPad or laptop.
School will physically take place Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, students will work independently at home, to allow for a thorough weekend cleaning of the campuses.
BHUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy told the Courier that the two newly announced options provide the greatest flexibility possible in this still uncertain time.
“COVID-19 cases are still on the rise. Look at places like Beijing, where they are closing schools right now. We have to be able to pivot because all of this is so unprecedented,” Bregy said.
“Education is all about planning. It involves so many stakeholders,” he added. Bregy said some parents have expressed frustration that their children cannot return to campus full time. Comments and concerns about the new options were also read into the record during the Regular Board Meeting of the BHUSD Board of Education on June 23.
“Believe me, nothing would make me happier than for all of us to be back. But people need to realize that we have to follow the rules from the County Department of Public Health. They tell us we have to socially distance, and that means looking at each individual classroom. We have to figure out how many students we can safely return to them. It’s probably from 10-12 per classroom. That’s why we have to split up into two Cohorts,” said Bregy.
He also pointed out that many parents prefer to keep their children off campus at this time.
“We have parents whose children are immunocompromised. Or perhaps, they live with grandparents in the home and don’t want to risk exposure. We’re offering virtual learning through the ILC that offers an amazing array of courses and electives,” he said.
Bregy added: “We will get to the point where things will get back to normal. We’re planning for something that keeps changing. Every school district across the country is going through this. We have a plan that is as adaptable as possible, based on our mandates from the health department as they stand right now. We expect those orders to change. But for now, we have to be prepared for anything.”
For information about the ILC, visit www.ilc.bhusd.org/
For information about Hybrid Learning, visit www.bhusd.org/hybridlearning/