Coronavirus: Glendale Unified School District offering distance learning at elementary schools

Right now, the district is only offering child care to elementary school families.

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Saturday, July 25, 2020
Glendale elementary schools offering distance learning
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Like many school districts, Glendale will begin the school year with virtual learning. However, the district is keeping some classrooms open to provide childcare for kids who need it the most.

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Edgar Ceballos works full time in IT and needs to be at his office. Unable to teach his 4-year-old daughter Sarah transitional kindergarten, he's sending her to Glendale Unified's Child Care where she will distance learn from a classroom at one of the district's 21 Elementary Schools.

"If I can't work, then there will be less money. I know there's help, but I wouldn't get the same pay check I normally do and would probably get behind in bills," said Ceballos.

Ceballos says his daughter wears a mask in class, is physically distant from other students, has her temperature taken -- all making him feel she's safe from COVID-19.

Right now, the district is only offering child care to elementary school families.

"At home she would not be able to do what she does at school. The reason is at home there's a lot of distractions. She knows she's at home and by her knowing she's at home makes her comfortable meaning I'm at home. I can go and play. When they're in a school environment, they're a different person, more focused in a learning mode," said Ceballos.

"We can never be over confident because we've never been in a pandemic before, but have we taken every step necessary to make sure it will be well planned, highly monitored and supported, yes," said Vivian Ekchian, superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District.

This is child care and not in-person learning. The district conducted a survey and found 2,700 of their elementary school families were in need. Glendale has 26,000 students compared to LAUSD's 600,000.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner says at this point, they'll only be offering child care to students who's parents work for the district.

"Bringing children into a congregate setting whether through child care or instruction at this point the state is telling us it's not safe to do. Calling it child care when it can't be done as instruction, we're not quite sure how those challenges co-exist," said Beutner.

Glendale Unified says the same students will be in child care together, in familiar classrooms with teachers they know to bring stability to distance learning.

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