Published April 15, 2020
To protect the continued health, safety and well-being of students and staff, the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees has extended distance learning through the end of the 2019-20 school year and will continue the physical closure of its schools until further notice.
The Board, which held its virtual meeting on April 14, will leave open the possibility of holding supplemental school activities, including senior functions, should the Safer at Home Order, extended through May 15 by Los Angeles County public health officials, be revised or rescinded.
“From the start, our District has taken a measured approach to extending dismissal incrementally, aligning our decisions with public health guidance all while prioritizing the health and safety of our students and staff,” Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “While we had hoped our students could return to campuses and engage in regular academic and end-of-year activities, it is not prudent to reopen at this time. We will continue to deliver instruction virtually, address the needs of our students and staff and leave open a window of opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2020 while also exploring alternatives.”
To minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19, schools will remain closed to the public, with only essential employees being allowed onsite.
Teachers will continue to focus efforts on delivering a robust, high-quality distance learning program for students that ensures continuity and practices flexibility as needed. The District has temporarily shifted its grading practices to enable students to improve their grades for the spring semester and pursue their collegiate aspirations from the safety of their homes.
The District is working with the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and School ASBs – both of which include student representatives from across the five comprehensive high schools and two alternative schools – to develop alternatives for a future commencement that would give students who have earned a diploma the opportunity to walk across the stage and be celebrated by loved ones in a safe setting.
“Graduation is an unforgettable rite of passage for our students, who have worked incredibly hard to reach this critical milestone in their lives,” Plourde said. “Although our traditional June graduation ceremonies may not happen the way we had planned, we have every intention of giving our seniors this experience and honoring their resilience and achievements the way they deserve.”
Details will be provided at a future date.