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ABCUSD Board Votes 7-0 to Close Schools and Remain Online for Fall Term

BY BRIAN HEWS • July 20, 2020

At a special meeting today, the ABC Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to close their schools and retain the online courses for the fall term due to Coronavirus pandemic.

There has been heated debates all over the country about what school district should do in light of Trump’s policy of completely re-opening schools.

But a recent polls show that 70% of parents would not send their kids to school even if it opened.

The ABCUSD has 19 elementary, 5 middle, and 5 high schools along with an Adult School and pre-school in Cerritos, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens and Lakewood.

The district boasts over 20,000 K-12 students, 10,000 adult school students, and over 3,500 employees.

Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, which together enroll some 825,000 students, two days ago abandoned plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms.

The ABCUSD sent out a statement:

The ABC Unified School District will be starting the 2020-2021 school year with instruction through the ABC Virtual Academy on August 24, 2020. This decision, made by the ABCUSD Board of Education at a Special Meeting held today, is based on direction from Governor Newsom’s latest guidelines for public schools as well as public health data.

The Governor’s directions specify that school districts within counties that are placed on the California County Monitoring List “must conduct distance learning only.”

Los Angeles County has been on the Monitoring List for some time due to the increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths.

“As an educator, I know the importance of having students physically in the classrooms,” said Board President Dr. Olga Rios. “However, our first priority is the health and safety of our students, families, teachers, and staff. Right now, the threat to public health is simply too great to have them at our schools.”

Students will begin the school year in the ABC Virtual Academy, an online instructional model that focuses on synchronous learning where students interact with their teachers. Students follow a set schedule each day, giving the Virtual Academy the feel of being in class.

“The ABC Virtual Academy will be as close to in-class teaching as we can get in an online environment,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu. “We plan to provide workshops and instructional videos to help our families adjust to this new learning environment.”

More information about the specifics of the ABC Virtual Academy will be sent to families later in July.

Bringing students back into schools will happen when public health circumstances allow Los Angeles County to be off of the California County Monitoring List for at least 14 days. Until that time, ABCUSD will continue to work collaboratively with our families, staff, and stakeholders to meet the needs of our students.

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