Lompoc schools will open the 2020-21 school year two weeks later than initially anticipated, and students will begin the new session under a modified schedule that will see most attending classes just two to three days per week.
The modified plans were revealed Wednesday afternoon by Lompoc Unified School District.
According to the new-look schedule, which was altered out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic, the first day of school for LUSD students now will be Aug. 31, instead of the original start date of Aug. 17.
Additionally, the district plans to employ a hybrid-learning model for the start of the school year that will call for most elementary students to attend campuses just two days per week — either on Mondays and Tuesdays, or on Thursdays and Fridays.
Middle and high school students will be asked to attend for two-and-a-half days per week — with one group scheduled for full days on Mondays and Tuesdays and then just the morning session on Wednesdays, and another group beginning with just the afternoon session on Wednesdays and full days on Thursdays and Fridays.
The model, according to the district, will allow for social distancing within classrooms, on buses, during lunch/recess and upon arrival and dismissal. In addition to that schedule, the district also plans to survey families to gauge how many would prefer a fully virtual learning model with 100% at-home lessons.
LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald noted that more than 100 LUSD employees and 4,500 community members provided input on the reopening plan.
“It’s been great to have so many different stakeholders working together,” he said.
The district did not reveal exactly how long the modified schedule would be used, but a spokesperson noted that LUSD will continue to monitor recommendations from state and local health officials regarding changes to guidelines.
The pushed-back start date will help everyone prepare for the new-look school year, according to Bree Valla, LUSD’s assistant superintendent of human resources.
“This extra time will allow us to train our staff on the best procedures to ensure their safety and the safety of our students and families,” Valla said. “We will also be using this time to enhance our skills with distance learning.”
For more information on LUSD, visit lusd.org.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
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