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LAUSD Extends The Deadline To Opt Out Of In-Person Schooling To Aug. 6

A teacher wearing a yellow sweater and a mask sits in front of laptop computer attached to a larger desktop computer to speak to a student  through Zoom.
Sylvan Park Early Education teacher Wendy Workman talks to her students through Zoom.
(Mariana Dale
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On August 15, Los Angeles Unified School District campuses will fling open their gates for, officials hope, a full year of in-person learning.

That means “full-day instruction, five days a week” for kids who spent the better part of last school year learning remotely as the pandemic — which is still with us — forced schools to shut down.

Are you ready for that, LAUSD parents?

Those who aren't will have a little more time to think about it. On Friday, LAUSD announced it would extend its deadline one week to Friday, August 6 for families to let the district know if a student will be staying online.

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The deadline for enrolling in LAUSD’s distance learning program had been Friday, July 30, but district officials gave parents extra time to weigh their options.

Listen: LAUSD Parents Have Until Friday, July 30, To Opt Out Of In-Person Schooling

So far, very few students have expressed interest. As of Wednesday, July 28, just 1,695 parents had enrolled their students in LAUSD's online courses. (The district enrolls an estimated 447,000 students.)

Students who attend online programs this fall will notice big differences from last year. Here’s what parents need to know:

  • Students who choose virtual classes will not be taught by teachers from their current campus. Instead, they’ll attend classes through City of Angels, an LAUSD school that has offered independent study courses for years.
  • Switching between online and in-person classes won’t be as easy as last spring. City of Angels classes may not operate on the same schedule as classes in a student’s home school. For that reason, LAUSD officials say they will allow students to switch between the two, but they’re asking students who choose City of Angels to commit to a full semester online to avoid disruption.
  • Students will have live instruction for part of the day. Elementary students will get three hours of live instruction each day. Secondary students will have three class periods, and get at least 40 minutes of virtual face-time with a teacher in each one — and potentially as much as 70 minutes. Students will then work independently for the rest of the day.
  • Students will not have to give up their spot in a specialty program. While students who choose the virtual program are technically enrolling in another school — City of Angels — they will not lose their place in their home school. That’s especially important for students in magnet schools, dual language classes or other specialty programs; they will not lose their seat in those programs if they choose LAUSD’s virtual option. That said, City of Angels may not be able to offer some of the same specialized programming online.
  • Students who choose online classes will be unable to participate in extracurricular activities, officials told parents at a recent LAUSD town hall.

Parents interested in choosing the online option can sign up through LAUSD’s Parent Portal. The district is also encouraging parents to visit the City of Angels school’s website or call (323) 415-8350.

For those going back in person: On LAUSD campuses, students will have to wear masks at all times. The district has promised to maintain a stepped-up cleaning regimen, and will still enforce some social distancing rules — though class sizes will return mostly to normal.

What questions do you have about K-12 education in Southern California?
Kyle Stokes reports on the public education system — and the societal forces, parental choices and political decisions that determine which students get access to a “good” school (and how we define a “good school”).

Updated July 30, 2021 at 6:43 PM PDT
This story has been updated to reflect LAUSD's decision to extend the deadline for the program until Aug. 6.
Updated July 30, 2021 at 10:35 AM PDT
This story has been updated to reflect the number of parents who had enrolled their students in online classes as of Wednesday.