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All LAUSD Schools To Reopen By End Of April, 25 Vaccination Sites Planned At Campuses

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San Fernando High School LAUSD

Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday that all Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) campuses are expected to reopen for in-person learning by the end of the month. 

The district is set to open 61 elementary schools and 11 early education centers starting the week of April 12. The remaining elementary schools and early education centers will open the week of April 19, and middle and high schools will open the week of April 26, according to Beutner.

A COVID-19 testing program is in place for students with the superintendent reminding families to be tested this week if their school is reopening on April 12. 

 “Our goal isn’t just to reopen schools, it’s to make sure we can open them in the safest way possible with all students there,” Beutner said. “Many families who have chosen to remain in online instruction tell us their primary concern is that their child might go to school and, however, remote the possibility, bring the virus home to a family member in a multi-generational household.”

To assist in the return to in-person learning, the district is set to open 25 campus-based vaccination centers to serve families of LAUSD students. 

“Since this crisis began, Los Angeles Unified has had to balance three sometimes conflicting objectives – the learning needs of students, the impact the virus is having on working families and protecting the health and safety of all in the school community,” Beutner said. “We’re expanding the safety net we are providing to include vaccinations as part of our commitment to do all we can to protect the health and safety of everyone in the school community.”

The first two of these centers will open on Tuesday, April 6, at George Washington Preparatory Senior High School in South Los Angeles and Abraham Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles in collaboration with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. St. John’s will provide the doses of vaccine and the clinical staff to administer the shots while Los Angeles Unified will oversee the outreach to the school community and provide operational support at the school sites.

On April 9, Los Angeles Unified is set to open a vaccination center with the help of Northeast Community Clinics at Henry T. Gage Middle School to serve school families in the Huntington Park community. 

Los Angeles Unified testing centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. For details, call the Family Hotline at 213-443-1300. For more information about the campus-based vaccination sites, call 213-328-3958.

Education

L.A. Teachers Union Approves School Reopening Agreement

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Classroom LA County School Reopening

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) members have approved an agreement on the reopening of schools for in-person and hybrid instruction.

The vote was 89% in favor of the return, according to UTLA Communications Director Anna Bakalis.

A total of 20,413 ballots were cast from March 18 through March 21, with 18,127 members voting yes, according to UTLA officials.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board unanimously approved the agreement on March 11.

“Every step of the way, UTLA educators have kept our students and communities safer, from the call to close down schools early in the pandemic to holding the line against an unsafe return,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “While the improving COVID-19 situation is still fragile, we believe this agreement puts LAUSD on the path to a physical reopening of schools that puts safety first.”

The agreement provides for a hybrid model combining online and in-person instruction, with students remaining in small, stable cohorts while on campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the LAUSD.

Preschools, elementary schools and services for students with learning differences and disabilities are set to reopen by mid-April, with secondary schools opening by the end of April, according to the district.

The plan includes daily in-person instruction for elementary school students in a hybrid morning/afternoon model while maintaining the option for students to remain in online-only instruction, according to the LAUSD.

Secondary students are expected to continue with daily online instruction, along with the opportunity to return to campus for peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration, the district said.

Full-day, in-person instruction is returning for preschool students, according to the agreement.

The district aims to maintain current teacher assignments whenever possible.

All students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 before their return to campus, and weekly COVID testing will be provided thereafter, according to the LAUSD.

Masks and social distancing are required for students, staff and visitors at schools, according to the guidelines.

Los Angeles Unified has already invested more than $120 million to upgrade air-filtration systems, procure adequate stocks of personal protective equipment and add extra custodial staff, according to district officials.

The LAUSD is also providing social-emotional supports for all students and additional professional development for teachers.

Meals will be provided for students at schools, whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction, according to the district.

The district is aiming for a mid-April in-person return for grades TK-6 and an end of April or beginning of May physical return for grades 7 through 12.

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Education

LAUSD, Teachers’ Union Reach Deal For In-Person Learning

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Classroom LA County School Reopening

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) announced Tuesday they have reached a tentative agreement on how to reopen schools for in-person instruction as soon as possible and in the safest way possible. 

The agreement provides for a hybrid model combining online and in-person instruction, with students remaining in small, stable cohorts while on campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the LAUSD.

Preschools, elementary schools and services for students with learning differences and disabilities are set to reopen by mid-April, with secondary schools opening by the end of April, according to the district. 

“The 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,” Superintendent Austin Beutner and UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a joint statement. “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. 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.” 

The plan includes daily in-person instruction for elementary school students in a hybrid morning/afternoon model while maintaining the option for students to remain in online-only instruction, according to the LAUSD.

Secondary students are expected to continue with daily online instruction, along with the opportunity to return to campus for peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration, the district said. 

Full-day, in-person instruction is returning for preschool students, according to the agreement. 

The district aims to maintain current teacher assignments whenever possible.

All students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, and weekly COVID testing will be provided thereafter, according to the LAUSD. 

Masks and social distancing are required for students, staff and visitors at schools, according to the guidelines. 

Los Angeles Unified has already invested more than $120 million to upgrade air-filtration systems, procure adequate stocks of personal protective equipment and add extra custodial staff, according to district officials. 

The LAUSD is also providing social-emotional supports for all students and additional professional development for teachers.

Meals will be provided for students at schools, whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction, according to the district. 

The agreement is subject to approval by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education and ratification by the UTLA membership.

 If approved by both parties, the contract is set to be in effect through June 30, 2021.

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Education

Governor Newsom Signs Bill To Accelerate California School Reopening

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Classroom LA County School Reopening

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday to reopen California schools with a $2 billion incentive for districts to allow in-person learning for transitional kindergarten through second grade by April 1.

The $6.6 billion budget package aims to accelerate the return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer, according to the legislation. 

“To be where we are today, a week or so away, or less than a week away, with many more counties moving into less restrictive tiers, this is the right time to sign this bill,” Newsom said. “It’s the right time to safely reopen for in-person instruction our schools, focusing on those cohorts that are most impacted by this pandemic.”

Public schools throughout the state are set to be allocated $6.6 billion under the proposed budget package. 

$2 billion would fund safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades and COVID-19 testing. 

$4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services. 

“Together, the funds empower schools to develop and execute comprehensive strategies to both reopen and expand programs to address the social-emotional, mental health and academic needs of students,” said Newsom’s office. 

All public schools would be required to offer in-person instruction to grades K-2 for all students and for high-needs students in all grades by the end of the month, losing 1 percent of eligible funds every day thereafter if they do not, according to the legislation. 

Schools in the state’s “red” tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade, or risk the same penalty. 

Together, these requirements help ensure schools begin to reopen as soon as possible, in order to build trust and confidence to continue phased reopenings.

As students return to in-person instruction, all public schools would also be empowered to meet the needs of the whole child. 

The Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants allocate $4.6 billion to local educational agencies based on the equity-based Local Control Funding Formula, with an additional $1,000 for each homeless student. 

These funds would be for supplemental instruction and support for social and emotional well-being. Schools would be able to use the funds for providing more instructional time, such as summer school, and accelerating progress to close learning gaps through tutoring, learning recovery programs, mental health services, access to school meal programs, programs to address pupil trauma and social-emotional learning, support for credit-deficient students and more.

The package would also codify multiple successful state programs to support safe school reopenings:

  • Vaccine Prioritization for K-12 School Staff. The package codifies the Governor’s commitment to set aside 10 percent of vaccines for education workers. This commitment ensures that the state prioritization of school staff, in place since January, is made real in all 58 counties. Since the Governor’s announcement two weeks ago, the state has collaborated with county health departments, the Biden Administration and providers such as Kaiser Permanente to accelerate vaccine access for K-12 school staff starting March 1.
  • Data Reporting. The package codifies data reporting requirements, including requirements for schools to report reopening status and COVID-19 safety measures. These statutory requirements will help build on efforts to increase transparency, including interactive geospatial maps displayed on the Safe Schools Hub.
  • State Safe Schools Team. The package also allocates $25 million to the State Safe Schools Team, which serves to provide technical assistance, oversight and accountability to the over 10,000 public schools in the state. The capacity will enhance the Team’s reach, and the Team will conduct a safety review of any school with two or more COVID-19 outbreaks.

The state’s efforts to accelerate safe school reopenings to date include delivery of three months of PPE and safety supplies to all schools at no cost, direct support to over 1,000 schools in 41 counties to implement COVID-19 testing and direct technical assistance to over 300 school districts.

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