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Some LAUSD Campuses Will Reopen Early, But Most Parents Hesitant To Send Students Back

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A relative handful of Los Angeles Unified School District campuses will begin reopening earlier than expected, during the week of April 12, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday.

But as LAUSD surveys families, Beutner said, a pattern is emerging: most parents are reluctant to send their students back to schools — especially in neighborhoods where COVID-19 vaccines are scarce. Here’s what Beutner said Monday morning:

"The impact of the virus together with the lack of access to vaccinations is having a direct impact on the willingness of families to send their children back to schools."

HOW MANY PARENTS ARE SENDING THEIR KIDS BACK?

So far, about three-fifths of LAUSD’s families have informed the district of their decision as to whether to return to campus. Among those who responded, less than half say their students will return.

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However, if a parent does not respond to a survey, LAUSD assumes their child will remain in distance learning mode. That means — if current trends hold — that the majority of students do not plan on returning to campus:

  • Parents of just 33% of LAUSD’s elementary students have indicated they plan to send their kids back.
  • If the parent survey closed right now, just 21% of LAUSD’s middle schoolers would be returning in person.
  • Around 14% of LAUSD’s high schoolers plan to return. (These last two figures certainly reflect some frustration among middle- and high schoolers and their famiies with the reopening plan for secondary campuses.)

Hoping that increased vaccine access will convince more families to send children back, Beutner announced the district will host two new vaccination sites for families of school-aged kids. St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will provide shots at Lincoln High School in East L.A. and at Washington Preparatory High School in South L.A.
LAUSD has already opened up its own vaccination clinics for school district employees.

WHEN WILL LAUSD SCHOOLS REOPEN?

Most LAUSD preschools and elementary campuses will reopen the week of April 19 — but today, Beutner said that 50 elementary schools and 10 early education centers will reopen the week of April 12.

On those campuses, kindergarteners and first graders will return on April 13. They’ll be followed by second and third graders on April 14, and remaining fourth and fifth graders on April 15.

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Middle- and high school campuses are tentatively scheduled to reopen at the end of April.

ALSO OF NOTE…

As expected, United Teachers Los Angeles members voted to approve the union's agreement with LAUSD that paved the way for a return to campuses. Roughly 60 percent of UTLA's members cast ballots; nearly 90% favored adopting the agreement.

GO DEEPER:

UPDATES: This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. with results of the UTLA vote. This story was updated a second time at 4:15 p.m. with updated results from LAUSD's return-to-campus survey.

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