BUSD Announces In-Person Instruction Four Days per Week

A sign at Ekstrand Elementary School on North Walnut Avenue in San Dimas welcomes students back for in-person instruction after 13 months of distance learning. Photo: Phil Ebiner

By Joshua Bay

One month after implementing a hybrid model for in-person instruction, Bonita Unified School District will take the next step to reopen further starting May 10.

Superintendent Carl Coles announced that all students are invited to return to their respective schools four days a week – an increase from the current two days a week hybrid model. This change will eliminate the hybrid A and B groups – where participating families were allowed to attend class in person on Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday, respectively.

“We will maintain our daily schedule, and students can attend school in person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday,” Coles wrote in a letter on April 29. “Wednesdays will continue as distance learning only.” 

This announcement comes as Los Angeles County Department of Public Health rules and protocols for COVID-19 continue to ease up, boosting BUSD’s commitment to maximize efforts toward in-person instruction. 

BUSD Governing Board Member Greg Palatto said the main concern regarding bringing kids back to campus was whether they could fit into school spaces and still maintain compliance with safety protocols.  

“Once our admin took a look at all the sites and classrooms and numbers and they said they can make it happen with fidelity, then we said ‘Let’s take a look and explore it,’” Palatto said. 

Families may still opt for kids to attend via a full distance learning model.

Coles also wrote in his letter that BUSD’s teaching staff has had to change how they educate their students three times in 13 months, emphasizing that “each change required a considerable amount of planning and preparation.”

Palatto confirmed that BUSD’s teaching staff was notified ahead of time and are on board with this change.

“It seems that the teachers agreed with going back,” Palatto said. “Their main concern was the logistics of it. And once we tackled those issues, it seemed like a go.”

Superintendent Coles and BUSD Board of Education Governing Member Derek Bahmanou declined to be interviewed for this article. Governing Board Members Chuck Coyne, Krista Chakmak and Glenn Creiman did not respond to requests for comment. Bonita Unified Teachers Association President Nicole Grant did not follow up on San Dimas Community Post’s request for an interview.

More information on BUSD’s revised reopening plan is available on the Bonita Unified School District website.

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