Clark Magnet, CVHS Lead GUSD in Ranking

Glendale Unified School District’s four high schools were each ranked among the nation’s top high schools in the annual U.S. News and World Report evaluations.
Leading the way was Clark Magnet High School, which was named as the No. 510 high school nationally, followed by Crescenta Valley High School (No. 1,097 nationwide), Hoover High School (No. 3,949) and Glendale High School (No. 4,840). U.S. News evaluated GUSD’s schools alongside 17,857 in total this year, placing all of GUSD’s primary high schools within the 72nd percentile of the nation.
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GUSD Expands Summer Offerings to Combat Learning Loss

The Glendale Unified School District will offer a variety of free, in-person programming this summer in an effort to help fill the educational and social gaps created this school year by circumstances resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout June, July and August, the district will host programs for all levels of education and expand the offerings from prior programs, which were typically run through third parties outside of the district. In an effort to promote equity throughout the diverse school district, GUSD has taken over operation of those programs, including accelerated programs.
“These are the courses that have typically been offered through the Glendale Educational Foundation,” explained Chris Coulter, director of teaching and learning, at this week’s school board meeting, “which provides additional opportunities for students to take health for free. Health, math, science and history are the most common of the acceleration courses.”
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Teachers Union, School District Sign Tentative Agreement

By Zane Hill and Christian Leonard
Glendale News-Press

Following months of negotiations, the Glendale Unified School District and the teachers union have signed a tentative contract regarding instruction and safety protocols for the remainder of the academic year.
The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by the GUSD Board of Education and members of the Glendale Teachers Association before going into effect, would offer childcare for school-aged children of union members and provide Chromebooks and headsets for in-person students. Students and staff members would also be asked to opt in or out of a COVID-19 testing program; currently, coronavirus testing is voluntary.
Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said in an interview Thursday she was “incredibly excited” to have reached the agreement, which was struck Wednesday.

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Schools’ Reopening Details Still Being Addressed

The Glendale Unified School District this week proposed beginning in-person instruction across its elementary schools starting with TK-2nd-grade students on Monday, March 29, and bringing 3rd-6th graders back the following week.
This proposal was part of a response to the Glendale Teachers Association made this week after the union made its counter-proposal to the district during negotiations. The district also asked for preschool and elementary teachers, Child Development and Child Care teachers and elementary specialists, nurses and counselors to report to their sites on Tuesday, March 23, and have five paid instructional work days to prepare their classrooms and engage in professional development.

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Area Teachers to Start Receiving COVID-19 Shots Next Week

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and other institutions will begin vaccinating area elementary school teachers for COVID-19 next week, including Glendale Unified School District teachers who choose to sign up for the inoculation.
The hospital will take 350 teachers on Monday and another 350 on Thursday and aims to continue its vaccination work with additional teachers and members of the community, as eligibility increases. The concrete plan is a welcome development weeks after the initial rollout for vaccinating teachers was delayed because of supply issues.
Additionally, Adventist Health Glendale and Glendale Memorial Hospital also will be handling vaccinations for GUSD teachers.

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GUSD Prepares a Hybrid Education Program

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
Students at Mark Keppel Elementary School check into their distance learning technology pods in August at the start of the school year. Glendale Unified School District plans to continue running these pods after it launches a hybrid learning format that has students alternating between in-person and at-home instruction.

The Glendale Unified School District plans to transition into its hybrid education program for elementary schools in March, which has long been designated as the next major decision point for the district with regard to pandemic protocol.
The decision comes this week following the announcement from county officials that elementary schools could reopen their doors for limited in-person instruction, with or without the waivers they may have applied for. Those officials had anticipated this week that adjusted daily new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County would fall below 25 new cases per 100,000 residents each day — the threshold for reopening elementary schools while in the purple tier.

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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.

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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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