The Los Angeles United School District is still targeting early August for a new school year after Governor Gavin Newsom said last week that several California schools might open in July, Chief Inspector Austin Beutner said Sunday.
All schools in the country’s second-largest school district have been closed since March 13 because of a coronavirus pandemic. Beutner told NBC4 NewsConference that the 2020-2021 school year would begin August 18, but it was not immediately clear whether students would return to the classroom at that time.
Los Angeles Superintendent Austin Beutner leads the second largest school district in America. He spoke with Conan Nolan NBC4 about the pressing problems facing the school district. When will the school be ready to open for the fall semester? How difficult is it to recover from “lost learning?” With a decrease in income, does this mean that teachers are facing leave?
Last week, Governor Newsom said California the school can start a new school year in early July. Beutner said the district plan seemed to be in line with what Newsom said about reopening California schools.
“Science will guide us,” Beutner said on Sunday. “Experts will tell us what is safe and appropriate for August 18.”
Date is close to the district Start date 2019-2020 August 20th
Beutner has asked “strong” testing system and tracking contacts before the school can even start reopening. Although the details of what schools will be reopened do not appear to have been provided, the return will be a “gradual process with different school schedules and days.”
Staggered schedules, increased distance between desks and other scenarios are all possible once students return to the classroom, Beutner said.
Beutner said the summer school program would help minimize gaps in learning. After 600 school districts were closed, LAUSD launched distance learning and a food aid distribution program in hopes of frustrating the spread of COVID-19.
There were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in LAUSD schools when the campus closed in March, Beutner said.
“Security is making sure we are not the place to be a petri dish for this virus,” Beutner said.
Online summer classes will begin in mid-June.
“The transition to online learning is our long-distance voyage. It’s important and difficult,” Beutner said. “And like the astronauts at Elang, we will all benefit from learning when everyone has returned home safely, or in the case of our students, safely returning to the classroom.”
Beutner said nearly all LAUSD educators had completed training to teach online and about half had registered for an additional 30 hours of training, which began this week.
“We have connected almost all our high school students, providing them with tools and internet access, and in a week or 10 days we will achieve that goal for elementary school students. The emphasis now is to help teachers take their talents online,” said Beutner.