When will LAUSD reopen? Superintendent offers latest update

Sunday, September 13, 2020
Eyewitness Newsmakers: When will LAUSD reopen?
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On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner talked about the latest plans and timeline for reopening local schools.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner responded to the latest Los Angeles County directive keeping schools closed until November

"One of the challenges we have with directives that seemingly change - this week's different than last week which is different than the week before; we need a firm foundation," Beutner said. "The firm foundation for us will be science, it'll be what's safe and appropriate for the school community."

The superintendent indicated he will not follow suggested opening dates.

"Shifting dates, shifting standards," Beutner said. "When we have 700,000 students, 75,000 employees. On any given day as many as 70,000 classes. This is not a week-to-week exercise for us. We started planning back in March, when we closed school facilities, on how we would return students to those school facilities."

Starting Monday, LAUSD is rolling out an app for all students and employees to check in and register if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Beutner talked about the security of a database with personal information.

"Certain school-site administrators will make sure those in the school community can be informed. And obviously those legal authorities to which we have to share the data, for instance the County Health Department in Los Angeles, nobody else will have access, the data won't be shared anywhere. It's not kept in Los Angeles Unified servers. It is kept separately."

Beutner responded to why can the city open recreation centers as learning centers and schools cannot.

"It's differing standards, different rules from different levels of government. We're providing childcare for employees who are working at school sites. We have about 3,000 kids in childcare, or care for children. By the way, if those same children were in schools and called students we couldn't bring them in."

Beutner added, "What the city's doing is interesting, but it's not sufficient scale."

Whenever schools reopen Beutner says teachers will have a say in it.

"I would approach anyone who works in a school about being in a school as if I was prepared to be there myself," said Beutner. "That's the same practice we're going to continue so all of our plans, our preparations to someday bring students back include our labor partners, include all who work in schools. They're a co-planner with us."