Letter to South Pasadena Residents & Parents:
(A follow-up from a group of SPUSD parents to the TASP letter 8/2/2020)
On August 2, the Teachers Association of South Pasadena expressed concern in the South Pasadenan about the process by which the Fall school model was finalized (which will begin August 13). The union complained about two main issues: 1) being “shut out of the decision-making process” that led to the final model, despite the described collaborative nature of the TASP-SPUSD discussions that occurred in June; and 2) that SPUSD “scrapped” these plans unilaterally, shortly before a scheduled School Board presentation for potential approval.
The letter notes that TASP presented its own models to SPUSD after the School Board meeting, but these models were not described in the letter. What was TASP’s main concerns about the approved model? Were TASP’s models consistent with the late-in-coming State legislative mandates? What were TASP’s priorities? Were all stakeholders’ issues and feedback considered (teachers/parents/administration/students)?
We have amazing teachers in this district, and no stakeholder should feel shut out. It must be acknowledged, however, that no single model will satisfy all involved. As parents, we are happy with the current model as it includes the following: 1) every day instruction with students’ regular teachers and regular class sizes; 2) at least 50% live instruction/day; 3) a design that enables the maintenance of student-student and student-teacher relationships as much as possible whilst completely or largely on-line; 4) in the event of in-person classes: live streaming allows teachers to teach kids at home without extra prep needed, and also allows isolated/quarantined children to still learn; 5) a normal amount of classes every day (block schedule for middle and high school); and 6) afternoon non-class time for social-emotional development, attention to challenged learners, clubs, activities, and counseling.
We would suggest that if TASP has a model that is better than the above, then it should be publicly shared for discussion by parents, teachers, and administration, rather than simply acknowledging its existence. Only in that way can we move forward as a community assured that all interests are represented and appropriately prioritized.
Parents of SPUSD students:
Ken Zangwill and Daphna Enzer
Dioni and Fred Freking
Michael and Barbara McLendon
John and Deana Ng
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