East Whittier School District to Reopen Schools Starting March

East+Whittier+Administrator+showing+a+news+crew+precautions+Laurel+Elementary+School+will+be+taking+to+keep+faculty+and+students+safe.++

Photo Courtesy of Marc Patterson

East Whittier Administrator showing a news crew precautions Laurel Elementary School will be taking to keep faculty and students safe.

East Whittier City School District will begin its re-opening plan for parents who wish to return to in-person instruction. The staggered opening is scheduled to begin March 1 with transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and special education classes. First graders will begin attending class a week later, and second graders will start after spring break.  

Parents, teachers, staff, and community members have voiced their concerns throughout the year on re-opening the schools. The school board unanimously voted to push the date to March 1 at the December board meeting as a precaution of the possible increase in COVID-19 rates because of the holidays. The rates have decreased and the EWCSD board feels that it is time.

The Opinions

According to Whittier Daily News, board member Armando Urteaga said, “I look at the date and I like March 1…But if between now and then, things change, we won’t hesitate to push the date back.”

Superintendent Marc Patterson told the Whittier Daily News he aims to have at least three months of in-person learning.  Additionally, he hopes  for an extended summer school program in the 11 participating campuses.  The schools opening are: Ceres, Evergreen, La Colima, Laurel, Leffingwell, Mulberry, Murphy Ranch, Ocean View, Orchard Dale, Scott Avenue and STEP.

Opposition met the announcement of the openings with the teacher’s union (EWEA), some stating safety issues, others saying all teachers should be vaccinated prior to opening, however, parents who wish to return will now have the option, and students will remain with the same teacher. 

How it will look like:

Those concerned for their safety are allowed to keep their children home and continue virtual learning.  Teachers who hope to continue teaching virtually must have a medical waiver . A substitute teacher will assist in class in their place.

The district purchased precautionary measures such as disinfecting foggers, spaced desks, hand sanitizer dispensers, gloves, masks, face shields, and goggles in order to make classrooms as safe as possible for all who attend school.  

Tune in to Telemundo on channel 52 for the full story by Sandra O’Neill at 5pm.  

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