See you in the spring….or not!

You got questions, we got answers!

See you in the spring....or not!

By Emma and Lara Ghalustians, Staff Writers

In March, students were told that they were getting an extended spring break. Spring break eventually extended into the end of the 2019-2020 school year and the 2020-2021 school year started remotely. Now everyone is anxiously waiting for updates on how we will start out the new year. 

You got questions, we got answers.

“So, what are the updates?”

Taline Arsenian, the President of the Glendale Teachers Association, voiced her opinion about the spring semester returning schedule. “Based on how things went first semester regarding the COVID-19 positivity rates of Glendale vs. LA County, it doesn’t seem like Glendale (or LA County for that matter) as a community is doing all that it could to move closer to the red tier.”

“COVID-19 has colors now? What is the difference between the Red and Purple Tier?”

According to the EdSource, Purple (Tier 1) means that COVID-19 is widespread in the county. Red (Tier 2) means that there is a significant number of cases of the virus, while Orange (Tier 3) means that there is a moderate spread and Yellow (Tier 4) means that there is a slight spread of the virus in the county. 

Agreeing with Arsenian, Kristine Nam, the Glendale Unified Communications Director stated that “schools may not reopen fully for in-person instruction until the county has been in the Substantial (Red) Tier for two weeks.” 

“When will we find out if we’re going back?”

Good question. Maybe this week? Maybe next week? But we do know the GUSD Board of Education is meeting on Tuesday. So we think they’ll decide then, but we don’t know. 

“So what you’re saying is that GUSD has not made a final decision yet?”

Correct. GUSD has yet to make a final decision about whether students will return to school or not.

I would hope for the GUSD Board of Education to make a decision sooner rather than later so that teachers, students, and families can plan for January and beyond.  There is only one more school board meeting scheduled prior to the start of next semester, December 15th,” Arsenian stated. 

She also stated that she hopes that GUSD’s decision “was dependent on the LA County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health requirements and guidelines for a safe return to campus.”

Nam added that “our Board of Education is committed to bringing students back for on campus instruction as soon as it is safe to do so. We are very hopeful that LA County will move into the Red Tier by later this spring.

“We do know that Burbank is remote all of spring. That means we will too, right?”

Well, not exactly. As for now, it is best to wait on the return to in-person learning for the safety of the students, teachers, and staff on campus. “Educators are working harder than ever before to make distance learning meaningful for students.  Students are also working hard to stay connected with teachers, the curriculum, and their classmates via online methods and modalities. Students are resilient and have been doing a great job at adjusting to remote learning,” Arsenian wrote in an e-mail to the Tornado Times.

Arsenian concluded with, “we hope to be at our school sites with our students and school community only when it is safe to do so. Until then, we must make distance learning work for our students.”

“But I was really hoping to see my friends again! Can we do Hybrid learning instead?”

A hybrid learning model won’t be an option for LA County until it is in the red tier for at least two consecutive weeks. Things aren’t looking good for us as there is a constant increase in COVID cases. We won’t be approaching the Red Tier any time soon.

“I can’t believe the year is almost over! It’s crazy to think that we have been partaking in distance learning since March. I’m ready for everything to go back to normal.” 

Aren’t we all…  but for now, let’s be safe, wear masks, and stay six feet apart! Let’s finish off our first ever virtual semester strong, enjoy our much needed break, and tackle the new semester with positivity! 

“So when is the next update coming?”

Not sure… but as soon as we get it, you will be the first to know! So, follow the Tornado Times Instagram Page and Twitter -TornadoTimesHHS- for breaking news! 

“But isn’t this self-promotion?”

It sure is!