Venice Prepares For Fully In-Person School Day To Begin 2021-2022 Year

Eric Lee, Editor-In-Chief

Reading Time: 3 minutes

After nearly a year and a half of online and hybrid learning, Venice High, along with all LAUSD schools, will be returning to fully in-person instruction beginning tomorrow, the first day of the school year.

Students will need to have entered a negative COVID-19 test into LAUSD’s Daily Pass system in order to gain entry to campus on Monday morning.

According to a Schoology update from Magnet Coordinator Christopher Wolf, “Students who come to Venice High School without an active Daily pass must have their parents come to the school to give consent [to take a rapid test],” or parents will be called to pick up their student, regardless of how the student got to school.

The district’s return to campus family guide outlines the average school day and provides families with information on what to expect. 

“Students will be on campus five days a week for a full schedule of in-person instruction,” according to the guide. High schoolers, as was standard before the COVID-19 pandemic, will also “move from one classroom to another to see all of their teachers.”

Schools will also be equipped with more services to ensure student success and well-being, including additional mental health services, counseling, and free meals for all students. Athletics will return to their pre-pandemic scheduled seasons, and after-school programs will resume, following the latest public health guidelines.

Heightened safety precautions will remain in place, including daily health checks and weekly testing for all students. Testing will be provided at Venice on certain school days. As recommended by The CDC, “Face masks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while on campus.”

Venice has also decided to push the start of the school day forward by 30 minutes, for an 8:30 AM start time and a 3:37 PM dismissal time.

The State of California passed Senate Bill 328, which states that in the 2022-2023 school year, high schools cannot start earlier than 8:30 a.m.,” according to principal Cynthia Headrick.  “LAUSD decided to offer schools the opportunity to implement this starting in the 2021-2022 school year, and Venice opted to adopt the new start time this year.”

Senior Evan Perez has a positive view of the bell schedule change.

“I think it’ll benefit us overall since most teens naturally wake up later,” he said. “Plus, it gives us more time to get ready for the day and not feel rushed.”

Perez is also looking forward to going back to school in person.

“I’m excited to go back mainly because of not seeing friends for such a long time,” he said.

“It’s something we took for granted, and only now we appreciate what we couldn’t have for so long. I’m looking forward to some good old nostalgia and a strong senior year finish.”

Former Spanish teacher and UTLA Co-Chair Angela Fajardo offered students this message as they enter the new school year:

Fajardo has accepted a position as a Secondary, World Languages and Cultures Specialist for LAUSD’s Multilingual & Multicultural educational branch.

“There’s going to be bumps in the road because we are in a state of uncertainty, but learning is a two-way street,” she said. “You put in your effort and you get something out of it. So be open-minded, be excited, and be awesome.”

Principal Headrick is counting on the strength of the Venice community to make the transition back to school more manageable.

“Everyone is filled with many emotions regarding the return to school,” she said. “There is excitement and anxiety which is always present at the start of a new school year, but especially this year. 

“We need to be patient and support one another—remembering routines and procedures at school will take time, but we are all here to help each other as a community.”