BEVERLY HILLS—On Thursday, July 9, parents of Beverly Hills students held a protest at Beverly Gardens Park unsatisfied with the fall options available for students. Signs read: “My Child’s Education is Essential” and “#OpenOurSchools.”

The Beverly Hills Unified School District initially rolled out two options for the school year. One was the default of a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning which would divide students into cohorts and alternate physically attending school. The other was a virtual Independent Learning Center. The ILC was designed in 2019 for students with non-traditional learning styles. Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy said in an email that the plans are “contingent on direction from the Department of Public Health.”

On Tuesday, July 7, a third option was proposed at a Study Session, where teachers would instruct classes from their physical on-campus classrooms. Students would virtually log into class, instead of attending in-person. Bregy is considering this option as an alternative to the hybrid model, the board fully supported it.

“The reason we’re here today is that we are asking for the District to take the majority of the parents seriously. Over 54 percent of parents want the schools to open with clear CDC guidelines. Of course, safety first which was all decided, planned and discussed,” said a protester to the Beverly Hills Courier.

Another protester, Natalie Ashouri, said: “Parents are unhappy with the status quo and we want to have a choice. Little kids are not able to teach themselves. There has to be a different solution.”

Canyon News spoke to BHUSD Director of Public Relations, Rebecca Starkins, who said, “We are grateful to have an extremely involved and engaged parent community at BHUSD. We have not made any decisions about which options will be changed at this time with the exception of the ILC. The ILC option will remain. We agree that education is essential and consistency is an extremely important part of that. Should we physically open we cannot guarantee safety for our students or staff and we cannot offer consistency as education will be disrupted when inevitably a student or staff member tests positive with a confirmed case and the people they were in contact with (for more than 15 minutes) will remain at home in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.”

Starkins also reiterated the words of Dr. Bregy: “While we understand some parents are disheartened by the discussions around keeping our children safe at home, the BHUSD leadership has been inundated with emails of thanks and support for the exploration of sound and consistent academic possibilities for our students.”

The BHUSD Board will meet next on July 14 to further discuss plans for the upcoming academic year.