LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — No decision has been made yet on whether students will return to LAUSD campuses for the first day of school, but one thing parents can probably count on is a mix of online and in-person classes, Superintendent Austin Beutner says.
“As we look ahead to the start of a new school year, the challenge is to build on the foundation that’s been put in place over the past few months and apply the learnings to provide the best possible education for students,” Beutner said in his weekly coronavirus briefing.
The first day of school for the district, which employs some 75,000 employees and serves almost 700,000 students, is scheduled for Aug. 18.
When the pandemic started, the district, teachers and students were plunged into remote learning. But many students lacked the proper equipment, dependable internet access and consistent help at home, creating virtual drop-outs.
“We knew we were heading into uncharted waters,” Beutner said. “Training was needed for students and their families on how to use these tools, as well as the many different communication and education technologies that are a part of an online education. Teachers were asked to adapt lesson plans based on classroom instruction virtually overnight to somehow complete the last few months of school online.”
In order to provide students with adequate education, the new school year will have to include a regular class schedule, attendance will have to be taken, daily live instruction must be given and other requirements must be met. Next academic year, Beutner said each school principal will host weekly updates on their plans to reopen and provide education, and community administrators will hold regular town hall meetings to discuss issues related to the new school year.
“If these sound like an ambitious set of expectations, they are and they’re necessary,” Beutner said. “”COVID-19 continues to be a real threat to all the communities we serve, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change anytime soon. We have to do the best we can to adapt to challenges it presents.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)