GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

For the second time, kindergarten teacher Roxanne O’Rourke has been recognized as teacher of the year for the Glendale Unified School District and will now represent the city in the contest at the county level.
O’Rourke, who teaches at Horace Mann Elementary School, was awarded as teacher of the year in the spring but was formally recognized by the GUSD Board of Education this week as the Los Angeles County Office of Education prepares to designate the county’s teacher of the year. O’Rourke earned the accolade for her leadership in the early spring, when her school received a waiver to open doors for students to re-enter classrooms and kick off hybrid instruction. Continue reading “GUSD Teacher of the Year ‘Model for Excellence’”

District Applies for Waivers to Open Up Elementary Schools

Photo courtesy GUSD
After first getting a waiver to have some in-person instruction at Horace Mann Elementary School, the Glendale Unified School District plans to seek waivers for its remaining elementary schools.

The Glendale Unified School District will begin applying for waivers for the remainder of its elementary schools to resume limited
in-person instruction, weeks after the district piloted a reopening at s.
Meanwhile, district officials plan to keep a close eye on the ever-changing situation with regard to the pandemic and the plethora of restrictions it brings from county, state and federal leaders. For now, distance learning continues to be the primary teaching mechanism, and the board of education expects its next decision to be by March 12, the end of the third quarter and on the cusp of spring break.
“The end of the third quarter and the day before spring break seemed to be a good decision at the time,” Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said, “but I do want to repeat that if we maintain a purple tier as a school district and county, it will be difficult to make decisions any differently than what we’ve made so far.”

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GUSD Again Halts On-Campus Activities

Photo courtesy GUSD
Some transitional and kindergarten students briefly returned for in-person classes at Horace Mann Elementary School this week, before the Glendale Unified School District suspended on-campus programs for the remainder of January.

In anticipation of a coronavirus surge believed to be exacerbated by the December holidays, the Glendale Unified School District on Monday is pausing all in-person activities on campuses for the remainder of January.
The district tentatively plans to resume these programs on Monday, Feb. 1, but those plans, as with most things in the era of the coronavirus, are fluid. The latest decision comes by “strong recommendation” — not mandate — from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that “all TK-12 schools in the county suspend in-person student instruction, services and activities during the month of January as much as possible,” according to the district.

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Mann School Gears Up for a Portion of Students to Return

The Glendale Unified School District is prepared to bring select students back for in-person instruction at Horace Mann Elementary School starting on Monday.
A portion of transitional kindergarten and regular kindergarten students will return to class at the elementary school, split into small groups so as to allow for proper social distancing and hygiene protocols. District officials plan to evaluate the return process and adapt to allow 1st- and 2nd-grade students to tentatively join them in the coming weeks.
The school will be making use of technology to allow students who remain at home under distance learning protocol to receive their instruction simultaneous to the
in-person teaching that will now happen.

Continue reading “Mann School Gears Up for a Portion of Students to Return”

GUSD Stays Course on Distance Learning

The Glendale Unified School District has committed to continuing distance teaching through at least March 12, with the current surge in coronavirus cases essentially pulling the plug on any potential plans to add more in-person programming at the start of 2021.
Superintendent Vivian Ekchian and the district’s board of education emphatically made that pledge at last week’s meeting, the last of 2020. As for wider in-person instruction, officials also acknowledged the very real possibility that they could move the goalposts further away as they approach March, depending on how Los Angeles County fares through the pandemic.
“We will continue to engage in distance learning,” Ekchian said. “We are not interested in bringing more personnel back to our campuses — teachers, counselors, nurses, itinerant personnel, teacher specialists — during a surge. We will have to hope for the best. March 12 is the end of the third quarter; it seems to be the best next step in terms of our making safe decisions for all employees, students and the community. We are not making decisions beyond that, because much can change between now and then.”

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