LAUSD expected to reopen first group of schools for in-person instruction the week of April 12

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After the teachers union approved a deal to resume in-person instruction for Los Angeles Unified schools, Superintendent Austin Beutner on Monday announced the district expects to reopen the first group of campuses the week of April 12.

Beutner says current plans are to reopen 50 elementary schools and 10 early education centers that week, which will allow LAUSD to work out any kinks and issues that need to be addressed in advance of all elementary schools and early education centers reopening the following week of April 19.

Specific dates for the reopening of individual schools will be made available at the end of this week, the superintendent said. The district plans to stagger the reopening of each school over several days.

"For example, an elementary school might see a quick online check-in for students with their teachers to start the day on April 12th," Beutner said during a Monday morning briefing. "Students will then work independently that day while all staff - principals, teachers, bus drivers, librarians, counselors, custodians, cafeteria workers and others - carefully review their safety protocols and fine tune schedules for the rest of that day."

Kindergarten and first grade students would then return on April 13, second and third graders on the 14th, and fourth and fifth graders on the 15th, officials say.

Beutner added that the youngest learners, many of whom will be visiting school for the first time, will start first to get them familiar with their routines.

A similar phased-in approach will be used to middle and high schools later in the month.

The deal between United Teachers Los Angeles and the district includes a number of requirements that included access to vaccination for school staff, Los Angeles County falling below the state's purple tier and safety protocols at every school.

The vote was announced as the CDC issued new guidelines that allow students to be spaced only three feet apart in classrooms instead of the six feet previously recommended. Masks and other precautions are also required.

But LAUSD officials say, per their agreement with the teachers, they are sticking with six feet of separation.

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The restart of Los Angeles Unified schools is moving closer to reality as the teachers union has now approved a deal to resume in-person instruction.

During a town hall meeting Sunday, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner told families that safety is a priority.

"Schools in Los Angeles Unified now have in place the highest standards of COVID safety in the nation," Beutner said.

He said the district has consulted with experts from a range of institutions, including UCLA, Stanford and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Changes made include upgrades to school ventilation and filtration systems, increases in custodial staff and weekly COVID-19 testing for students, their families and school staff.
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