LAUSD will start school year Aug. 18, but no timeline for reopening campuses

When the upcoming academic school year for the Los Angeles Unified School District begins on Aug. 18, it seems students will likely carry on with online learning.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When the upcoming academic school year for the Los Angeles Unified School District begins on Aug. 18, it seems students will likely carry on with online learning.

At a Monday morning press conference, Superintendent Austin Beutner said there are still no plans to begin reopening campuses by that date.

"We've made no decisions about the opening of school facilities by that date and will not until the science and health authorities tell us it is safe and appropriate to do so," Beutner said.

The remainder of the current school year will finish out with online instruction. Summer classes, which will be offered to every student, will start some time in the middle of June.

"This is the first time every student in our schools will have that opportunity," he said.

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LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner spoke with Eyewitness Newsmaker host Adrienne Alpert about plans for reopening schools this summer.



"Distance learning" has been in place for the nation's second-largest school district since schools closed on March 13, but the next school year is expected to begin on time.

Beutner stressed the need to train more district teachers on effective ways to teach online, adding that almost all of them have completed 10 hours of training "on the basics of online instruction."

"When students are in a classroom, it's assumed they're engaged and learning though that's not always the case. And merely being logged in on a computer doesn't mean a student is engaged," he said.

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Beutner also reiterated his previous statements that the decision to reopen schools would need to include COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

"As soon as the scientists tell us how, we'll figure out the when," he said.

The superintendent did not say who would pay for the testing, tracing or whether it would include all 700,000 students and 75,000 district personnel.

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However, Beutner said that when schools closed in mid-March, there were no cases of the novel coronavirus and he wants to keep it that way.

"What we've shared with our school community is we need to be careful that the efforts we made to close schools back on March 13, school facilities, that we don't suffer a setback. We closed with no COVID diagnosis in any school community and we don't want a hasty return to reverse the success of that effort," Beutner said.

Beutner said he is looking for further guidance from health authorities before the school district can make additional decisions.
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