By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Vice President Nick Melvoin led a Back-to-School Town Hall on Wednesday, August 4, to share about the district’s plan to return to in-person learning and answer submitted questions.
“The purpose of our town hall today is to provide transparent information about the district’s efforts to reopen our schools for full in-person instruction, pre-K through adult school,” Melvoin, who represents District 4, said at the start of the meeting. “We know that it has been … hectic for your families, for our students and our staff navigating the transition back to full-time instruction—especially as local, state and federal guidance can change weekly, if not daily.”
Melvoin said the district is moving forward to create an engaging and safe back-to-school environment starting Monday, August 16, and invited Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly to speak. Reilly began serving on Thursday, July 1, taking over for former Superintendent Austin Beutner.
Reilly said all LAUSD schools will offer full-day instruction, five days per week along with recess, after-school programs, lunch and meal breaks. She said schools are equipped with upgraded air filtration systems and have necessary supplies on hand, including masks and personal protective equipment.
Students will be tested on a weekly basis, regardless of vaccination status, and Reilly said the district is in constant communication with LA Public Health for guidance when revising protocols.
“We’ve been working and planning for the last 17 months, putting infrastructure in place to safely open our schools, and we are excited about the start of school,” Reilly said. “As part of our efforts to maintain the safest possible environment for students and employees, we’re closely monitoring the evolving health situation and conditions, and adapting our response and preparation.”
District officials Pia Sadaqatmal and Alfonzo Webb also joined the conversation to shed light on what the upcoming academic school year might look like.
County regulations currently mandate masks indoors; Melvoin said the district has no discretion in that and the district must require masks indoors. The district is choosing to go beyond these regulations and require masks to be worn outdoors.
“We are adding an extra layer of safety for our students and staff … [masks] will be required anywhere, any time on campus for vaccinated and non-vaccinated personnel and students,” Webb said.
Melvoin said come September 1, LAUSD can revisit the conversation and potentially have more flexibility in regards to mask wearing.
Webb said there will not be any distancing requirements in place this school year.
“There are no specific capacity requirements, there are no distancing requirements for classrooms as well as for school buses,” he said.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, Webb and Sadaqatmal said there are a variety of tools and platforms available for students to continue with their learning if they are asked to self-isolate.
“You have to be prepared for all things now … every teacher will be prepared to deliver instruction, provide resources, make sure that student is continuing instruction,” Sadaqatmal said.
Sadaqatmal and Webb said parents should visit lausd.net for the most up-to-date information regarding LAUSD’s protocols in place.
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