On the heels of its successful panel with elected officials in June to discuss the coronavirus pandemic-related matters, the Armenian National Committee of America Hollywood chapter on Wednesday brought together leading educators in a virtual town hall meeting to address the various ways public and Armenian private school systems are tackling the issue of re-opening schools as the ongoing COVID-19 emergency continues.
Participating in the panel were Los Angeles Unified School Board member Jackie Goldberg, Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, Chairperson of the Board of Regents of the Prelacy Armenian Schools and LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Alison Yoshimoto-Towrey.
The panelists outlined the challenges that were brought by the abrupt closure of the schools when the COVID-19 crisis began in the spring and the lessons they had learned from that experience, which will be applied as LAUSD, GUSD and Prelacy Armenian schools prepare to return to distance learning in the fall.
Each touched on the budgetary challenges and how best to accommodate the large number of students each entity operates.
The town hall began with welcoming remarks by ANCA Hollywood co-chair, attorney Lara Yeretsian. The bi-lingual panel discussion was divided into two parts with the English portion of the discussion being moderated by GUSD teacher and ANCA Hollywood board member Nareg Keshishian, while the Armenian portion was led by ANCA Hollywood board member Nane Avagyan, who is an anchor on Horizon Armenian Television and correspondent for the Asbarez Daily Newspaper.
Throughout the town hall, which was conducted on Zoom and livestreamed on the ANCA Hollywood, Asbarez and ANCA-Western Region Facebook pages, the moderators fielded questions from audience members.