Virtual learning continues. The superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that students will not return to the classroom in the Fall in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said that the fall semester will begin Aug. 18. However, student learning will begin online only, with no students returning to in-person classes.
Along with LAUSD, the San Diego Unified School District will also begin its fall semester in a virtual format. The two districts released a joint statement confirming the move.
“Both districts will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow,” the statement read.
Beutner did not provide an estimate regarding when in-person classes might resume.
“The right way to reopen schools is to make sure there’s a robust system of testing and contact tracing to mitigate the risk for all in the school community,” Beutner said in a video address Monday.
All this comes after United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union which represents LAUSD teachers, announced Saturday that of 18,000 members who took part in a poll, 83% voted against physically reopening schools to students. The union applauded LAUSD’s announcement the correct move in light of the circumstances.
“It was the right thing to close school campuses then, and it’s the right thing to keep them closed now,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement. “In the face of the alarming spike in COVID cases, the lack of necessary funding from the government to open schools safely, and the outsized threat of death faced by working class communities of color, there really is no other choice that doesn’t put thousands of lives at risk."
Schools statewide began operating remotely in mid-March, with students using programs such as Zoom and Google Classroom to connect with their teachers and complete their course work to finish out the 2019-20 academic year. LAUSD itself closed campuses on March 16.
LAUSD — the second largest district in the nation — serves more than 600,000 students at more than 1,000 schools. It employs about 75,000 people.
As far as the OC goes, Orange County Board of Education is welcoming students back to campuses without increased social distancing in classrooms or the mandatory use of masks. More info at: https://www.ocgov.com/