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La Serna High School

Looking Ahead: 2020-21 Budget and Impacts of COVID-19

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fiscal crisis in the state, the governor’s 2020-21 budget preserves funding for K-12 schools, enabling them to pivot to online learning in fall, and protects most school employees from layoffs. In June, the Whittier Union Board of Trustees adopted a $177 million 2020-21 budget that projects significant revenue shortfalls in the coming years.
 
Working in collaboration with administrators and staff, the District is working to maintain quality education and support services for students – whether delivered virtually, in-person or a combination of both – through prudent and fiscally responsible decision-making.
 
As part of its 2020-21 budget, the District outlined the changes made to meet the needs of students when physical school closures began in March 2020, which included recalibrating existing support systems and converting all services, curricular and instructional programs, resources and access to staff to an online learning model.
 
Whittier Union distributed Chromebooks and Hotspots, textbooks, school materials and other supplies to students in need, while establishing a Districtwide grab-and-go meal program through summer.
 
Teachers and support staff – who received professional development trainings and held virtual department meetings – used Google Classroom and other learning tools to engage students. Parents – who received information on child care, food banks, financial assistance and mental health resources – were trained in Aeries and other topics to monitor their child’s academic progress.
 
The District’s student support services and special education departments – in conjunction with counselors, foster youth support teams, Expanded Horizons offices and assistant principals of guidance – provided students with social-emotional support, counseling and resources through phone calls, emails and virtual meetings. Special education teachers and support staff provided students with virtual one-to-one and small group support assistance.
 
In lieu of a Local Control and Accountability Plan, Whittier Union is developing a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan describing how it will respond to the impact of the coronavirus on in-school and online learning, learning loss and mental health of students and staff. The report was completed in September 2020.

Learn more in our 2020 Report to the Community.

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