All Five Manhattan Beach Elementary Schools Approved for TK-2 WaiversNov 05, 2020 03:20PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach received surprising news on Thursday, as Los Angeles County approved all five elementary schools for a waiver to open in the TK-2 elementary grades.
The approval was given to Grand View Elementary School, Meadows Elementary School, Pacific Elementary School, Pennekamp Elementary School, and Pacific Elementary School.
"We are thrilled to receive this swift approval from Los Angeles County for our five elementary schools," MBUSD Superintendent Mike Matthews told DigMB. "It speaks to how well we were able to work together with all of our community constituents. We look forward to getting those students back to school as soon as possible."
The quick approval was somewhat unexpected because the county has said it would approve only 30 elementary schools per week, with preference given to districts with a high percentage of children receiving free and reduced lunch.
However, the Manhattan Beach schools had worked diligently on the application to get support from all stakeholders, including the teachers' union (even after the county dropped that requirement).
MBUSD has laid out a three-stage return-to-school plan for its elementary hybrid program. Matthews said at Wednesday night's school board meeting that the schools were ready with PPE (personal protective equipment), air filters, and other supplies.
Matthews released the following email to parents on Thursday afternoon:
"Dear MBUSD Community,
"This afternoon, I received notification that all five elementary schools in MBUSD were approved for the TK-2 Waiver that we applied for on October 23. I will be communicating with our teachers and staff tomorrow, and I will provide more details about this re-opening in my Monday Morning Message. I am thrilled that our preparations and our health and safety protocols met all of the requirements set forth by the County and the State. I am also grateful for the support of our unions, our employees, and our community. While not all of our employees or our students will be returning to campus, we will continue to provide a high quality distance learning program during this time.
"If you are a parent of a TK-2 student, and you have not yet turned in your decision, please do so no later than tomorrow (click here for survey). Once I have received all parent requests, we can make the necessary class changes to address the needs of all stakeholders and I can provide a start date for our TK-2 Hybrid.
"I look forward to implementing this phase of our return to school plan and I thank you all for your patience and support."