By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced on Monday, March 23, campus closures—including Palisades Charter Elementary, Marquez Charter Elementary, Canyon Charter Elementary and Paul Revere Charter Middle schools—would extend through May 1 in response to COVID-19.
The closures, which took effect on Monday, March 16, were first announced on March 13 in a joint statement from Beutner and San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten.
“California has now entered a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in a statement March 13. “There is evidence the virus is already present in the communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread. We believe closing the state’s two largest school districts will make an important contribution to this effort.”
Beutner reported that LAUSD continues to work with San Diego Unified to help coordinate state efforts.
“This past week marks the start of a new chapter for all who are part of our school community,” Beutner wrote on March 23. “Students are learning in different ways, teachers are teaching in different ways and families are struggling to support their children in their studies while balancing other responsibilities.”
Since closing the campuses, LAUSD has opened Grab & Go Food Centers, which provide 250,000 meals per day. The district has also partnered with Verizon to provide internet connectivity for students that do not have it at home, which Beutner described as a “critical component in the district’s plan for students to continue learning” while the schools are closed.
Following Stay at Home orders in place through Sunday, April 19, Palisades Charter High School is pushing back the earliest date for students to return to campus to Monday, April 20.
“We should all be prepared for the likelihood that the targeted re-open date will be pushed back in the near future,” Principal Dr. Pam Magee wrote.
Magee added that Pali High remains hopeful that current conditions will improve enough for in-person instruction and on-campus support activities to resume before the end of the school year, but the campus has now shifted to long-term e-learning.
“I wish I could tell you it will all be back to normal sometime soon,” Beutner shared, “but it does not look like that will be the case.
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