A goal to reopen schools in mid-April has been set by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner set the tentative goal to reopen schools on Feb. 8, saying the district planned to meet L.A. Public Health standards for in-person classes and have staff vaccinated for an April 9 reopening.
The district’s plan for reopening has been approved by L.A. Public Health as filtration systems have already been installed in school buildings and a contact tracing system is underway.
As of Monday, teachers are eligible for vaccinations, fulfilling another one of the priorities for what the district and county consider a safe reopening.
“Providing vaccinations for school staff in an organized manner will help Los Angeles Unified open schools sooner. Most importantly, the effort recognizes how all staff are connected at schools,” Beutner said Monday. “Coordinated vaccinations for school staff will help open schools quickly so we don’t have a situation where teachers at the school are vaccinated, but not the bus driver or vice versa.”
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood opened a vaccination super site, specifically aimed at vaccinating teachers and school staff, Monday. With Gov. Gavin Newsom promising a 10% vaccine allocation going toward vaccinating teachers, LAUSD will have access to 25,000 doses over the next two weeks.
The Los Angeles district will also have dedicated vaccination sites at Panorama High School, Roybal Learning Center where school nurses have already started receiving vaccinations and the Diego Rivera Learning Complex, as they attempt to vaccinate more than 86,000 school staff.
United Teachers Los Angeles has been opposed to reopening schools while the county remains in the “Purple Tier,” which indictes the highest level of COVID-19 transmission and positive cases.
UTLA has challenged what the state, county and LAUSD consider safe and have asked that teachers to take a vote on returning to in-person instruction, which may occur on Monday.
“While the virus outlook in Los Angeles has improved since last month… L.A. continues to record more new viruses each day than any other county in America,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a February briefing. “We remain firmly in the ‘Purple Tier’ which indicates extremely high risk levels and health officials are concerned that the more contagious variants spreading in our community could lead to another spike.”
If the LAUSD does reopen schools in April, by county regulations, in-person attendance will not be mandatory and 100% distance learning will still be provided for students and parents who opt-out.