Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — Methods of returning students to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District amid the COVID-19 pandemic will include a combination of at-home learning and in-person instruction, Superintendent Austin Beutner said Nov. 16.
“In order to maintain the appropriate distance between people on campus, we will need to have fewer students in the classroom at any one time,” Beutner said. “This means that when it’s safe to do so, we’ll implement a hybrid model of instruction, where students alternate receiving in-person instruction in a classroom at school and learning online, either at school, or from home.”
Beutner said that within the next week, LAUSD will publish information about what to expect when students are able to return to school.
“Our goal is to provide everything families need to make an informed decision about what’s best for their child and their family to return to school or continuing online learning. Every family will be offered this choice,” Beutner said.
The district announced a tentative agreement Nov. 13 with the union representing principals and administrators, outlining protocols for the eventual reopening of school campuses.
Beutner did not announce a date when students would be permitted to return to campus during his weekly update Nov. 16.
The agreement with district principals and administrators outlines safety guidelines for the return of students within “small, stable cohorts while on campus.”
In a joint statement, Beutner and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles President John Flecha conceded that online learning “pales in comparison to the education and support (students) receive at schools.”
“We are preparing to serve students at schools as soon as it’s possible, in the safest way possible,” the statement continued. “Our plans include the highest standards for health, education and employee practices at schools. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of administrators who are leading the charge to ensure our schools are ready to return in a hybrid learning model.”
The agreement includes provisions calling for all students and staff to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campuses, and safety protocols at schools, including face masks, social distancing and grouping of students in small cohorts.
It also calls for effective communication with students and staff about the required safety standards, and includes an unspecified “stipend” for administrators “in recognition of the extraordinary effort involved in planning for and implementing this effort.”