Manhattan Beach Middle School and Mira Costa High School have released schedules and plans to launch into an in-person hybrid program, starting for some students as early as March 29.
But brace yourselves: In the days leading up to spring break (April 2), the schedule is a bit of a head-spinner.
On Thursday and Friday, March 25 and 26, students will work on asynchronous assignments to give
MBMS and MCHS teachers the opportunity to prepare their classrooms and be ready
to welcome students in-person next week.
In the meantime, students have been divided into three groups: Team 1 and Team 2, the groups that attend in-person classes; and a third group of students who have chosen to remain in
Beginning Monday, March 29, Team 1 students in grades 6 through 9 will attend from
8:30-9:30 a.m. for first period only on Monday; and Team 2 students in grades
6 through 9 will do the same on Tuesday. All Team 1 students (grades 6
through 12) will attend from 8:30-9:30 for second period only on
Wednesday; and all Team 2 students will do the same on Thursday. (MBUSD's spring break begins on Friday, April 2.)
(Bonus points if you understood that from reading it just one time.)
This unusual schedule is designed to give teachers and staff the
opportunity to learn what is working and what needs to be
adjusted so that the schools are ready when students return for the official hybrid program on April 12.
know the single
period will be a hassle for some families in terms of transportation,
and I’m sorry," wrote MBUSD Superintendent Mike Matthews in an email to
parents. "It is just one or two days, and it will help us
Hybrid Program to Begin April 12
After spring break, on Monday April 12, the schools will move to a three period day
two days a week. Team 1 will attend in-person on Monday (Periods 1-3-5)
and Tuesday (2-4-6); and Team 2 will have the same schedule on Thursday
and Friday. Students will attend from 8:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. (MCHS) or 8:30 a.m. to
11:20 a.m. (MBMS) and will see three different classrooms and groups of
students on each day they attend.
For distance learning students, including both those who choose to
remain in distance learning and those in the team not attending
in-person class on a given day, there are two different models of
instruction. Teachers can choose to provide online instruction in a
designated 35 - 40 minute afternoon time slot, which will be an
abbreviated version of what students have been experiencing up to this
point. Or, teachers can choose to “simulcast” their lesson, streaming it
live from the classroom, so that the distance learning students are
seeing and hearing the same things that the in-person students are
seeing and hearing at the same time.
Many details have yet to be finalized or explained; the district has promised to come back with more information specific to students' grades and teams.
"Red Tier" Brought About Earlier Start
The unusual schedule for the week of March 29 came about when Los Angeles County moved into the red tier, a lower-risk tier for COVID-19 restrictions.
"While we had
originally planned for this reopening to occur by April 12, that date
was moved up when L.A. County went into the red tier sooner than expected.
We have agreed on a plan that starts on a smaller scale, like all of
our other plans, then moves into a more full schedule," Matthews told parents.
On Friday, March 19, MBUSD and the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association (MBUTA) reached an agreement and signed an MOU
paving the way for students and employees to return to MBMS and MCHS for
in-person instruction beginning on Monday, March 29.
Matthews noted that this
will be MBUSD’s first-ever implementation of a schedule that allows
students to attend school in a setting with more than
14 students in a single cohort or stable group since the COVID-19 pandemic began. "This is big," he said.