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Morning Brief: Fewer Vacation Days Proposed At LAUSD, Behavioral Science For Firefighters, And The Great Wall Of L.A.

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Palm trees silhouetted against a California sunset. (Stock photo by Molly Martirez Via Unsplash)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 13.

LAUSD reopens its doors to the youngest students today, and as it does so, officials are also recommending that students spend a few extra weeks in the classroom during the 2021-2022 school year.

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Superintendent Austin Beutner announced the recommendation during his weekly address, held yesterday. Officials are proposing adding one extra week of class in August, and one fewer week of winter break.

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Beutner said the suggestion is based on the need to make up for lost time during the pandemic.

“We surveyed families, and the majority expressed an interest in extending the school year,” he said. “These weeks will be split between time for teachers and school staff to plan and participate in additional training, and time for students to process the trauma and anxiety they've experienced the past year, and work on learning fundamentals.”

Beutner has faced a great deal of pushback during his efforts to reopen schools safely. At the end of 2020, City Councilmember Joe Busciano threatened to sue the district to force them to reopen. And last week, a group of parents did sue the district, pushing for more students to be back on campus and for the elimination of requisite COVID-19 testing.

There was some back-and-forth between the local teachers’ union, United Teachers L.A., and LAUSD officials, but last month the two groups came to an agreement about reopening.

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Throughout the reopening debate, Beutner has been firm about keeping safety protocols in place, and prioritizing the health of staff and students over speed.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today. And to our friends in the Muslim community who began their observation last night, Ramadan Mubarak.

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What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go … This Week’s Outdoor Pick: The Great Wall Of Los Angeles

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This week, artist Judy Baca will discuss her plans to extend her monumental mural, The Great Wall of Los Angeles, in the Tujunga Wash. The half-mile-long artwork explores California from prehistory through the mid-20th Century. In preparation for the live-streamed conversation, take a stroll down one of the many paths surrounding the mural.

Or, you could: watch Brandi Carlile play the Gaylywed Game. Hear from a pioneering shark expert. Relive your favorite moments from The Office's first episode. Sample some delicious dishes at a Thai New Year pop-up. Celebrate Earth month at an environmental film festival. Help destigmatize "that time of the month" with Period Piece. And more.

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