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LAUSD Will Reopen School Playgrounds Next Week

A small girl in a pink jacket, light blue jeans and yellow sneakers climbs up the red stairs of a jungle gym.
A student at Marina Early Education Center races up the jungle gym on Tuesday, April 13.
(Mariana Dale
LAist )
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The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that it will reopen playgrounds at nearly 600 elementary schools and early education centers on May 3 and they'll have new pandemic safety guidelines in place.

The district’s custodial staff will clean the structures with electrostatic misters (those Ghostbusters-looking backpacks) and disinfectant. Students will be expected to wash their hands before and after playing.

LAUSD’s playgrounds had remained closed even as others in the region reopened. District Superintendent Austin Beutner told LAist younger students needed time to adjust to new routines.

“We wanted to work on the masks. We wanted to work on staying apart," Beutner said. "We wanted to make sure they had reinforced the need and understanding of washing hands and where to wash hands. You do all that first, and then you let them on the playground.”

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School board Member Nick Melvoin said he appreciated the district's cautious approach, but wishes the playgrounds opened more quickly.

"I think kids need to be out and playing in addition to being back in classrooms," Melvoin said. "I’m excited to see the caution tape removed and have kids back on jungle gyms for the next two months.”

LAist's Kyle Stokes contributed to this story.