Schools will not reopen in the Los Angeles Unified School District until at least January, officials said in a published interview, citing COVID-19 infection rates.
The leaders of the LAUSD told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that switching from the current virtual-learning system to on-campus studies would be too disruptive at this point. The fall semester ends in December.
“If you look at a calendar, it would be difficult to do,” said Board of Education President Richard Vladovic. “I think best-case scenario is there’ll be some form of return in January, whatever that is. It’s more complicated than anyone could imagine on a school site – the complexities and the interrelationships, because of our varied instructional programming.”
LA Unified is the largest public school district in California and the second largest in the nation. It operates 1,302 schools that serve more than 735,000 students and employs 26,000 teachers.
Many California schools have been using online learning since March. However, neighboring counties including Orange and Ventura have allowed students to come back for in-person learning, and several school districts in Los Angeles County have allowed in-person classes for kindergarten through second grade.
COVID-19 cases are continuing to grow in Southern California counties, including Los Angeles, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside.
Jackie Goldberg, LA Unified’s vice president, said there’s also a need to protect teachers who are at greater health risk.
“This is finals time for the high-schoolers and the end-of-the-semester assessments for all the other grades,” Goldberg said. “Why would we want to go back in December? Which would be probably the earliest we could possibly go. … This is the wrong time to do that.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that schools shouldn’t be allowed to open until cases decline for 14 straight days within a county and statewide.
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