LAUSD students start new school year with distance learning amid coronavirus pandemic

LAUSD students start the new school year this week from home as the coronavirus pandemic forces classrooms to remain empty.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Unified School District students start the new school year this week from home as the coronavirus pandemic forces classrooms to remain empty.

Students will access online portals and attend orientation sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, with the first actual day of online instruction on Thursday. The school year officially began Monday with teacher training.

LAUSD is providing devices and internet access to students in need, and free one-on-one tutoring will be provided to K-8 students outside of school hours.

"We all wish students could be headed back to classrooms as a new school year officially starts," Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday. "Unfortunately, it's not safe and appropriate at this time."

RELATED: LAUSD to offer free one-on-one tutoring for students most in need
EMBED More News Videos

Free one-on-one tutoring will be provided as part of Los Angeles Unified's plan this fall for students, Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday.



The average school day is expected to go from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Teachers can work from home or in classrooms.

Staff who decide to return to campus will be provided with child care and personal protective equipment for their families. Those employees and their children will be regularly tested for coronavirus.

District officials have not said when all students might be able to return to schools.

Efforts to accelerate a return to LAUSD campuses were announced Sunday with the launch of a massive coronavirus testing and contact tracing program for staff, students and their families.

RELATED: LAUSD launching COVID-19 testing, contact tracing program
EMBED More News Videos

LAUSD says the program will provide regular COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for school staff, students and their families.



Beutner says the testing and tracing plan will provide data that can be used as a guide for eventually renewing school operations. It will cost roughly $300 per student over a year - about $150 million total.

The district is also operating 63 grab-and-go centers that provide meals. They will be open this fall semester from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For the latest news on back to school and educational resources, visit abc7.com/backtoschool.

For the latest updates and resources on the coronavirus, visit abc7.com/coronavirus.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.