Venice High Comments On The UTLA Accelerated Learning Days Vote

Billy Quinn, Reporter

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The teachers of United Teachers of Los Angeles have boycotted LAUSD’s proposed accelerated learning days and have reached a new agreement. 

Venice High School’s UTLA Chapter Chair Jennifer Barnhill said the proposed boycott was a response to the fact that LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Caravalho unilaterally implemented a school calendar that lengthened the school year one week without engaging educators or families.

With roughly 18,000 of UTLA’s members partaking in the vote, 93% voted in favor of the boycott on Sept. 27, 2022. The union doesn’t only represent teachers, but also counselors, librarians, and nurses. 

The first of the scheduled accelerated learning days was scheduled to be on October 19. These learning days were a strategy to counteract any learning gaps students may have due to the recent pandemic. 

The days would be optional for both students and teachers, with students having the opportunity to attend school and catch up on any information they may have missed due to the pandemic. 

Social studies teacher Reina Roberts, a UTLA member, said while the proposed acceleration days would have learning gaps students may have developed over the pandemic, it was unfair that teachers were not included in discussions to address learning.

“I think there was a lot of frustration on the part of teachers that we weren’t consulted about how to remedy this deficit in learning that the kids had over the lockdown,” she said.

To help students catch up, Robert said she has implemented “more reading comprehension, really structured writing with all my students, and using a lot of analytical models.” 

The agreement that the union and LAUSD have agreed upon is that the acceleration days will take place during school holidays on December 19 and 20 and April 3 and 4 next year. The days will be voluntary by students and their respective parents/guardians. 

Due to this schedule change, all LAUSD schools will now end the school year four days earlier than originally planned on June 9 to make up for the now mandatory school days that were originally optional.