2021-2022 Academic Models

Cameron Arcand, Viewpoint Editor

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at an April 6 news conference that schools should be able to reopen for full in-person instruction once California exits the current tier system on June 15.

“I share Governor Newsom’s optimism that conditions continue to improve,” State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said in a statement. “As all Californians continue common-sense measures, such as continuing to wear a mask and getting vaccinated, there is a clear pathway to a safe and full return to in-person teaching and learning this fall.”

This comes as coronavirus metrics in Orange County continue to see positive trends, sending the county into the less restrictive orange tier on March 31. Vaccines also continue to be administered to the community, and are currently available to everyone over the age of 16.
Irvine students will have the option to continue with IVA, which provided an alternative to hybrid learning for students and teachers who were concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“Although the district will offer both online and in-person academic models in the fall, the revised guidelines will allow for more flexibility in the classroom, further supporting IUSD’s commitment of a five-day per week program,” IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker said in a letter last month.

However, controversy surrounds next year’s bell schedule, which aligns all IUSD high schools together. The proposal includes an all periods day on Mondays, eliminates late start Wednesdays and adds extra time for tutorial. The final bell schedule also shifts the start time for schools to 8:30 a.m. and shifts the ending time to 3:45 p.m.

“The district is in the process of developing a bell schedule that works for all six IUSD high schools (including IVA),” Northwood Assistant Principal Eric Keith said. “They are still in the discussions, but the hope is to have a common bell schedule set soon.”

The district has indicated it will cooperate with public health guidelines in place during the fall, which Walker hopes will offer more flexibility than the current rules, such as less spacing between desks and allowing more students to be in each classroom. While it is unclear what the future will hold in terms of public health, the district remains hopeful that K-12 education will soon return to normal.