As part of their plans for the fall semester, the Los Angeles Unified School District is looking to reopen next fall with a few options. The district is seeking to return to on-campus and in-person teaching at all of its schools available to students five days a week, but it will however still offer an online option to students under certain circumstances.
This past Monday, Austin Beutner, school district superintendent, issued a statement in response to the building frustration by parents over the delay in the school district’s decision about the reopening of Los Angeles area schools.
All schools for elementary-aged kids “will have full days of instruction with their teacher and classmates while middle and high school students will change classrooms for each period, said Beutner, who leads the nation’s second-largest school district,” reported The Associated Press.
Beutner also stated in the release that there must be an option for students to remain in online learning has to be available for the upcoming school year for anyone who is not able to come to school for the re-opened in-person learning and for any who choose not to do so. He also announced the reopening of all after-school programs and stated that they will be an option for those students who need it from the time schools let out until 6 p.m.
“Some students and some staff members may need to stay at home until all at schools are vaccinated due to health reasons because they live with an immune-compromised family member,” Beutner stated but went on to add that he expects most of the students and staff to return to in-person on-campus learning.
The announcement also stated that all staff and students will still be required to wear face coverings, at least until a larger portion of the student body has received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
The topic of reopening the schools for on-campus learning in the school district has been a hotly debated issue for some time. This past Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a group of parents made demands that the district put forth and promise a regular, full-time school schedule for the students to follow in the upcoming fall semester. “Separately, the teachers union last week called for maintaining safety measures, hiring more union members and raising pay. Meanwhile, a coalition of community groups recently called for increased funding for schools that they identified as most in need,” reported the outlet.
This past Sunday, a group of around 70 people gathered at the LAUSA headquarters and then moved on down another 2.5 miles west to the headquarters of the teachers’ union reported the Times. “In interviews, they blamed the teachers union for not prioritizing the on-campus education of their children and the school district for not standing up to union demands,” reported the news outlet.
“I support unions; I support teachers,” stated Joel Delman of West Adams, a father of bother middle and high school-aged boys who have started to exhibit signs of depression. “But what has happened this year has been a disaster and my eyes were opened up to the fact that that disaster is due to the collusion between [United Teachers Los Angeles] and our LAUSD board, which is supposed to represent parents but doesn’t listen to parents at all.”