Update on Beverly Hills Unified School District Operations
Spring Break week has drawn to a close for the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD). Under normal circumstances, classes would resume on March 23. However, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has made these days anything but ordinary. And the BHUSD is acting accordingly.
All facilities shut down on March 13 and are expected to remain closed until April 5. This includes every school site and the District Office. All field trips, athletic events (both games and practices), activities, concerts, performances, conferences, and gatherings are suspended at least through April 5.
During this time, the BHUSD is undertaking a thorough cleaning of every school site and the District Office. While there will be no on-site instruction during the next few weeks, teachers are developing Home Learning plans, which will launch on March 24.
One day earlier, any student who receives a BHUSD-provided lunch can begin receiving to-go lunches at Horace Mann Elementary School. The lunches will be available as of March 23, between 10:30 a.m. and noon through the Hamel Drive Auditorium Gate only.
“Up to 640 students qualify for District provided meals, although the number of students that take those meals is smaller. That being said, the District will make sure that the number of meals available will be sufficient if all qualifying students wish to take a meal from March 23rd through April 3,” Wade Roach, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, told the Courier.
Also, on March 23, any student who needs to access a laptop/charger or workbooks can pick these items up at Horace Mann between 10:30 a.m. and noon through the Hamel Drive Auditorium Gate.
Home Learning begins in earnest on March 24 for all BHUSD students. In terms of curriculum, each core subject a student is enrolled in and each elective course will be delivered via Home Learning. For example, 4th grade students will receive curriculum in Math, English, Social Studies, Science and MakerSpace, Art, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Physical Education.
Teachers will communicate to all their students by March 24 with their expectations for that week. For 3-12 graders, work will be turned back into the teacher electronically (via email or Google Classroom) by March 27. Every Monday teachers will release additional work to be completed by students and turned in by the following Friday. BHUSD staff will be able to answer questions regarding instruction and provide technological assistance via email during their regular working hours.
Instructional staff that provides services to students who receive special education and related services will make every effort to deliver the service minutes indicated in each student’s IEP utilizing the platforms available.
Despite the unprecedented circumstances, lines of communication between BHUSD and parents are operating effectively, according to Rebecca Starkins, BHUSD Director of Public Relations. “As the week develops and in this minute by minute changing environment we are getting parent inquiries. We have communicated consistently with parents with over 11 email updates specifically about COVID-19 dating back to Jan 23. They are aware that we are intentionally reducing communication over Spring Break out of respect to our teachers and community. Social Media communication continues daily throughout the week and email communications will resume frequently on March 22,” said Starkins.
In addition to classroom disruption, BHUSD juniors are also dealing with potential changes in SAT and ACT schedules. The College Board has canceled the May 2 SAT administration, as well as makeup exams for the March 14 administration, scheduled for March 28. However, Casey Rowley, College Counselor at Beverly Hills High School, told the Courier:
“Sixty-three percent of our students took the March 4th SAT, those scores will be made available approximately March 27 on College Board’s online score reporting portal. Students can create an account if not already on College Board to view scores. If the tests our students planned on taking are canceled due to COVID-19 we will continue to update our students as we hear more, but so far additional test dates are expected to be added and in the light of a pandemic, colleges will be flexible with dates and deadlines if it disrupts application deadlines in the fall.”
The April ACT has been canceled, but test dates will be shifted for free to June or later.
As of press time, plans call for the reopening of all BHUSD Schools and the District Office on April 6.
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