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Morning Briefing: SoCal Kids' Very Different Returns To School

An example of what an L.A. Unified School District classroom could look like if campuses reopen. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Kids in Southern California are facing wildly different starts to the school year. At LAUSD, students began online classes on Thursday, with significant disparities in learning experiences across racial and socioeconomic groups.

Meanwhile, 24 private schools and one public school district in Orange County, along with one school district in San Bernardino County, were approved to open in person and did so this week.

So, what do these variances mean? Well, like with most things pandemic-related, no one really knows. Some LAUSD parents are considering legal action against the district for what they see as a dismal failure to hold teachers accountable for … well, teaching. But some educators are optimistic that this school year will go better than how the last one ended.

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"If we really understand what our kids need," Canoga Park Elementary School teacher Daisy Leon told KPCC’s Kyle Stokes, “we can hone in on what those needs are."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 21

Erick Galindo reports for his weekly column on a Bakersfield radio DJ who has become an invaluable resource to the farmworker community during the pandemic, trying to get essential information to the most essential of workers — the people who pick our crops.

The start of LAUSD’s school year also means it’s time for about 22,000 young children to start at the district’s early education, preschool and transitional kindergarten programs. Mariana Dale looks at what to expect, and what educators have learned since last spring.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Police Shooting: The Pasadena Police Department released footage from the Aug. 15 fatal shooting by an officer of a passenger who fled from the scene of a traffic stop and — according to police — pulled a gun.

California Kids: Online classes began at LAUSD, and we heard from one teacher about what she’s learned since the pandemic started. Some schools in Orange County and San Bernardino successfully petitioned to hold classes in person, and welcomed students back this week.

Money Matters: Immigrants who lack legal status can’t access pandemic-related federal stimulus money or unemployment benefits, so advocates are pinning their hopes on a new state bill. Some U.S. movie theaters begin opening on the heels of Canadian theaters doing the same. Customers are snatching up Chinese herbal remedies claiming to strengthen immunity or treat fever and other Covid-19 symptoms.

The National Stage: The third night of the Democratic National Convention featured L.A. restaurateur Lien Ta, owner of All Day Baby in Silver Lake and recently shuttered Here's Looking At You in Koreatown.

Here’s What To Do: Get married at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, catch flicks at the American Black Film Festival online or Method Fest, peruse the works at a music-themed group art show, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.

Photo Of The Day

White circles in the grass mark where elementary students must stand before entering a Lucerne Valley Unified school in San Bernardino.

(Courtesy of Lucerne Valley Unified)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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