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LTUSD phasing into hybrid learning model

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With daily COVID cases remaining low, Lake Tahoe Unified School District is slowly phasing students into hybrid learning.

While many parents, teachers and students are excited to get back into the classroom, LTUSD superintendent Todd Cutler, board members and staff don’t want to rush the process.

“After the board approved the four phrase plan on July 30, we really began as an administration team looking at all of the things we would need to do to really launch the entire plan,” Cutler told the Tribune.

The approved plan started the students remote learning with an option to consider case numbers every six weeks to decide when to move into the next phase.

With El Dorado County moving into the orange tier and positivity rates moving from 8% in July to 2.5% as of this week, Cutler felt like now was the right time to start moving students back into the schools.

In phase two, students will be on an A/B schedule where students in the A group take in-person classes Mondays and Tuesdays and the students in the B group will be on campus on Thursdays and Fridays.

However, Cutler didn’t want to jump right in, so the different schools will be transitioning into phase 2 at different times.

“One of the reasons why I suggested to the board that we actually don’t just jump in full-go for phase 2 where all schools do hybrid, is that I thought it would be really worthwhile for us to phase it in and make sure that our elementaries get off and running effectively,” Cutler said.

The elementary schools have fewer logistics in the sense that the students are in one class all day rather than in middle and high school where they are moving classrooms throughout the day.

Teachers are still putting the cohorts together, figuring out spacing, marking walking paths and finalizing safety measures but elementary schools are starting in person classes on Monday, Oct. 12.

The middle school staff are preparing their plan for moving to phase 2 and that plan will be presented to the board for approval at their Oct. 13 meeting. The anticipated start date is Nov. 2.

Cutler said the high school has been working on a hybrid plan for a long time so now they are ironing out the details. On Nov. 2, they are planning on having students in person for labs and specialty courses since it has been hard to do those remotely.

The schedule for lab courses will also be presented at the Tuesday, Oct. 13 meeting and the schedule for all classes will be presented at the Nov. 10 meeting. The hybrid schedule for all classes is anticipated to start Nov. 30.

While many parents and students are excited about going back, not everybody is comfortable with the idea. Cutler said for parents who aren’t comfortable moving into hybrid just yet, there are still spaces available at Elevated, the virtual school or the independent learning academy program.

“When we have folks who are concerned, we absolutely understand it,” Cutler said. “Everybody is concerned; either direction it’s important to listen and we do. That’s why we wanted to have choices for our families.”

The school district is constantly updating information on the Frequently Asked Questions page at http://www.ltusd.org/.


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