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Today Is The First Day Back At School For Some Of LAUSD's Youngest Students. Here's What We're Seeing

 First graders at Brainard Elementary demonstrate the very lengthy process of lining up, socially distanced, outside.
First graders at Brainard Elementary demonstrate the very lengthy process of lining up, socially distanced, outside.
(Kyle Stokes
/
LAist)
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Today is a major milestone for kindergarteners and first graders at 61 LAUSD elementary schools, who are back in the physical classroom for the first time, after over a year of distanced at-home learning.

Also returning this morning are preschoolers at 11 of the district's 88 early education centers (we're talking 2 to 4-year-olds).

More kids will go back to their classrooms as the week progresses: Second and third graders on Wednesday, followed by older elementary students on Thursday.

Of course, school looks a lot different now -- students are all masked and spaced six feet apart. Teachers are figuring out new ways to correct papers and assignments while being mindful of their physical distance. Kids have to stay far apart from one another at recess, get their temperature checked and exit their classrooms slowly, one by one.

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But human beings are nothing if not resilient.

At an elementary school in Lakeview Terrace, staff couldn't hold the hands of the youngest students to take them inside. So they used pool noodles to guide them into the classroom.

 At Brainard Academy in Lakeview Terrace, staff led students in one or two at a time.
At Brainard Academy in Lakeview Terrace, staff led students in one or two at a time.
(Kyle Stokes
/
LAist )

At Harding Elementary School in Sylmar, a first-grade teaching assistant used post-it notes to correct spelling, as a work-around to avoid writing directly on a student paper, which would mean getting closer than a few feet.

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And there were still moments of joy.

Education reporter Kyle Stokes captured a classroom of kindergartners singing a good morning song together, for the first time in 13 months.

Here are some more photos/observations of the day from Kyle Stokes and early education reporter Mariana Dale.

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And in case you missed it, here's the full reopening schedule for LAUSD:

  • The week of April 12: Roughly 10% of LAUSD elementary and early education campuses reopen. (Here's a map of exactly which ones.)
  • The week of April 19: The rest of LAUSD's 700+ elementary schools and early education centers welcome students back to classrooms.
  • The week of April 26: LAUSD middle- and high schoolers return to in-person instruction.