Distance learning agreement reached

Contract includes specifications about attendance, student behavior and communications.


By Kristen Marshal, Staff writer

The Glendale Unified School District and the Glendale Teaches Association on Wednesday reached an agreement on the return to school plans. The agreement includes more than two dozen specifications about attendance, student behavior and back to school night, among other items. The memorandum of understanding between the district and the union will have to be approved by the teachers.

“The GTA Bargaining Team and Board of Directors is happy to bring a Memorandum of Understanding that addresses Glendale educators working and safety conditions to our membership for final ratification,” GTA President Taline Arsenian said.

Teachers will be responsible for taking attendance daily and will mark students “absent” if they are not present for the live interaction sessions that will last for at least 30 minutes. Back to School Night will be organized virtually with live presentations and activities with school staff and parents. Information regarding the event will be provided by the principal and will try to be as similar as it can be to the previous years’ schedule.

Additionally, grading procedures prior to March 2020 shall be in effect. The district and union agreed to a separate grading process that was put in place at the end of the spring semester.

“I feel good about the changes but it’s much harder ot learn online rather than at school,” said Hoover sophomore Hasmik Margaryan

GUSD will resume providing updates to every GUSD family through many types of communication such as email and social media outlets. As students annually bring their syllabi home to be signed by their parents or guardians during the regular school year, a similar district compact in connection to behavioral expectations and such for distance learning will be signed.

“We will continue to work together with our labor partners, and in collaboration with families and community members, in the best interest of our students,” GUSD Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said in a statement.

Remote learning system will continue through all of fall semester unless the district and union decide to allow students to return to campus sooner. Until then, a schedule has been set that the district expects students to comply with. The schedule includes live interaction with students and teachers, as well as time for small group interaction and extension lessons.

“Our fall 2020 schedules provide the structure our students and families need while also giving teachers ample planning time and the flexibility to organize their distance learning classrooms to best meet the needs of their students,” Board President Armina Gharpetian said in a statement.