On April 21, the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) Board of Education held a Special Meeting to officially expand in-person instruction to five days a week for all grade levels. At the meeting, the Board approved Addendum #7 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 2020-2021 school year between the District and the Beverly Hills Education Association (Association), which specifies the return dates to full day instruction for elementary, middle and high school. Beginning April 21, elementary students enrolled in hybrid learning returned to full day in-person learning five days a week. Middle and high school students resume full time on April 26.
The move came as a result of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised Public Health Order, which enabled the District to increase the number of students permitted in a cohort/stable group. While the maximum size of a stable cohorts is based on the number of students that can be seated in a space while adhering to social distancing requirements, a cohort may not exceed a maximum of 30 students and two adults.
“I am thrilled that the District and the Union were able to reach an MOU to return to full five days of instruction,” Board of Education President Rachelle Marcus, told the Courier.
Marcus was surprised that so many high school students opted to remain virtual rather than return to in-person instruction. When the District opened for high school students under the hybrid model, “there were classes with one or two kids, maybe three,” said Marcus. “I was disappointed. I thought that was a chance for the kids to come back and be together finally,” she added.
In early March, the Board approved a reduction in force (RIF) initiative, which resulted in 10 elementary school teachers receiving pink slip layoff notices shortly after having returned to in-person learning. The updated MOU states that all 10 teachers who were given RIF notices will be reinstated “to address learning loss while accelerating progress to close learning gaps through the implementation, expansion, or enhancement of learning supports for 2021-2022 school year.”
Marcus noted that rescinding the lay-off notices will “help us to close the gaps in the students’ education caused by the pandemic.”
Schedules for Beverly Hills High School and Beverly Vista Middle School will be released by those schools. For more information, visit www.bhusd.org. The next Board of Education meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on April 27.