Los Angeles school district reaches tentative agreement to reopen for in-person learning by April

Los Angeles school district reaches tentative agreement to reopen for in-person learning by April

Los Angeles Unified School District, which closed its buildings to in-person learning in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, would open in a “hybrid” fashion combining online and in-person instruction, officials said Tuesday.

If the school board and the members of United Teachers Los Angeles approve the deal, preschools and elementary schools would reopen in mid-April, and secondary schools would reopen by the end of April, the district and the union said in a joint statement.

— Preschoolers would have full-day, in-person instruction.

— Elementary students would attend class either in morning or afternoon sessions.

— Secondary students would continue mainly with online instruction, but could come to school for “peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration,” the statement reads.

All students and staff would be tested for Covid-19 before they return to campus, and weekly Covid-19 testing would happen thereafter, the statement reads.

The deal also is conditional on Los Angeles County moving from the state’s most-restrictive tier in the state’s reopening rules to the next level down — the “red tier,” meaning the county would record no more than seven new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents per day.

The county health department announced Tuesday that the county is poised to move to the red tier shortly, as levels of new daily coronavirus cases have been falling.

“The (school) agreement provides for the reopening of schools when Los Angeles County is in the red tier according to the state school guidelines, that all staff have access to the Covid vaccine and that schools are kept clean and safe,” a joint statement by Superintendent Austin Beutner and UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz reads.

The union had previously balked at resuming classes until teachers had the chance to be vaccinated. But the school district has recently said it would provide vaccines to all of its eligible employees at three sites.

“As we have both stated for some time, the right way to reopen schools must include the highest standard of Covid safety in schools, continued reduction of the virus in the communities we serve and access to vaccinations for school staff,” Beutner and Myart-Cruz said.

“This agreement achieves that shared set of goals. It’s our shared commitment to the highest safety standards and spirit of trust and collaboration we will take with us back to schools,” they said.

LAUSD has more than 600,000 students at more than 1,000 schools in grades K-12.

Source: CNN – US News

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