More LA County school districts opting for distance learning ahead of new school year

From Long Beach to Burbank, many school districts in the region will remain online as officials consider the risk of COVID-19 spreading on campus.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After the Los Angeles Unified School District announced all classes will be online for now, other districts in Southern California are now revealing their plans whether to resume classes in person.

School districts across the country scrambled to launch distance learning programs practically overnight amid a global pandemic. Four months later, many districts seem to be heading in the same direction of 100% distance learning when the new school year starts.

Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Jill Baker said in-person instruction will be delayed until at least Oct. 5.

"This decision was a hard one to make, but we have done so with input from our local and county health departments," she said.

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Baker cited the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, saying they're also taking feedback from surveys to improve online instruction.

"Through our home learning survey, you have given us some important information to consider in terms of what worked and what needs to be improved," she said.

Burbank Unified said it will move forward with only virtual classes. Pasadena will do the same.

School districts are weighing the risk of COVID-19 spread along with insufficient personal protective equipment.

"Essential health and safety equipment is expensive and not budgeted, in many cases, and we are extremely grateful to the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, who is allocating PPE supplies for schools," Debra Duardo, the superintendent of L.A. County Schools said Monday during a briefing on the coronavirus. "What we have received so far is only a tiny fraction of what is needed to reopen schools."

Glendora Unified announced a digital platform while saying it will continue to plan for a hybrid model it can move into once it's safe.

Duardo says it's important to keep in mind the pandemic is evolving.

"While we are eager to reopen schools, the health and safety of students, staff and families must come first," she said.
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