Getting LAUSD Kids Back in the Classroom
This past year has been exceptionally difficult for the students, families, teachers and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and as your representative on the School Board, I am excited that we will soon finally welcome students back into the classroom.
COVID cases are declining, vaccines are being distributed, and we’ve learned a lot about which precautions help keep kids and staff safe. We have also reached an agreement with our teachers’ union to begin the recovery process from this crisis by safely reopening schools for in-person instruction in a hybrid model.
Here’s what reopening will look like. We will begin reopening some elementary schools on April 12, with the remaining schools returning the following week. Elementary students who would like to return to campus will have three hours of in-person instruction Monday through Friday.
In addition, to ease the transition back to campus, we’re going a step further by offering families the options of on-campus child care and extra enrichment activities. Of course, for those students who choose to continue learning remotely for the time being, schools will provide three hours of live virtual instruction.
Middle and high school students will be able to return to campus on April 26. Students will learn in stable in-person cohorts, allowing them to preserve individual course loads and schedules this late in the year.
I will continue pushing for the fall semester to look as close to normal as possible, as health conditions continue to improve. We are also actively planning summer enrichment opportunities for all families interested in participating.
Safety is, of course, our top priority. All students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, and regular COVID testing will be provided thereafter. To ensure the safest environment possible for everyone returning to campus, the district has already invested more than $120 million on new safety measures, including upgrading air-filtration systems, procuring adequate stocks of PPE and disinfecting supplies, and adding extra custodial staff.
Every air filter on every campus has been replaced with the equivalent of an N95 mask. Masks and social distancing protocols will be in place for students, staff and visitors at schools, and schools will use outdoor learning environments where appropriate to ensure safety.
I recently visited a few schools across my district to see these protocols and safety measures firsthand, including Palisades Elementary. Campuses are ready and staff is prepared and eager to have students back at school.
The process of reopening a district as large and diverse as LA Unified is especially complex, and won’t be perfect. But we will continue to navigate challenges and push forward, just like we did when transitioning nearly overnight to distance learning for more than half a million teachers and students, procuring more than 200,000 devices and hotspots to give every student access to virtual classrooms, and distributing over 110 million meals and necessities to the kids and families who rely on their school as part of the social safety net over the past year.
I deeply appreciate everyone who has fought to keep our kids healthy and learning. We will continue to learn, adapt and overcome any obstacles that emerge—because our kids and families are counting on us.
You can visit boardmembermelvoin.com for more information, follow me on Facebook and Twitter @nickmelvoin for the latest updates, and email BD4info@LAUSD.net with any questions or concerns.
LAUSD Board Member
Attempted Break In
Just letting people know in Pacific Palisades on/around Via on east side of Sunset—we had an attempted break in last night. We were away. They tried to enter through the back of the house. Luckily the alarm was activated and was set off immediately. I didn’t have a camera back there (I will tomorrow) so I couldn’t see anybody.
Thank you LAPD for getting there very quickly—we could see via Ring the next morning! The good news—they didn’t enter the house and nothing was stolen/everything seems to be OK.
But a few warnings:
1) Just be vigilant and don’t look obvious as you leave for vacation. As we were leaving with the car trunk open, there was a woman walking who I’ve never seen before watching us as she passed the house. When I looked directly at her, she turned away. I don’t know if she was casing the house or just walking but she was clearly watching us as we were about to leave.
2) Lock your doors. I thought I checked our doors before we left but the police said the door that the alarm tripped was unlocked. Double check.
3) Put your alarms on when you leave and when you go to bed. It seems these are quick hit jobs but we have to be vigilant and overly cautious.
Finally I did consider that the alarm was tripped due to something faulty or some wind/motion in the yard. But I put that alarm on religiously every night and it’s never tripped in a year. Funny how it did the only night we’ve been gone since COVID-19.
Be careful and vigilant. The more we help each other via this kind of information and being more careful, the better.
‘The Fragility of Our Infrastructure’
Takeaways from the Sunset Boulevard flooding last week, which caused property damage, shut down Sunset to through traffic for hours/days, and caused some areas to lose access to water:
1. Sunset Boulevard is the only artery to PCH, Temescal Canyon and Chautauqua for almost every street in Pacific Palisades. If travel on Sunset and Palisades Drive was to be shut down due to an earthquake, could you shelter-in-place for two to three weeks (or longer)?
2. Besides water, Sunset also supplies us with our gas and sewer services. These utilities serve all areas of Pacific Palisades, including the Palisades Highlands. Plan ahead: It could happen! Know how to turn off your gas and water.
Why water? Broken sewer and water mains could contaminate the water in your pipes. You may be able to use the water left in your pipes and water heater to survive.
Why gas? If you can smell gas, you or your neighbors may have a gas leak that could cause a fire and/or an explosion. Fire extinguishers: Highly recommend First Alert 3-A:40-B:C. Please watch and share mysafela.org/use-fire-extinguisher.
3. There are about 19 Firefighters on active duty at Stations 69 and 23 at any one time. As of 2018, there were about 28,000 residents in Pacific Palisades. Therefore, in a disaster, your neighbors may be your first responders.
Is your neighborhood ready? Do you all have water stored? Who has ladders? Who knows basic first aid and/or triage? Do you have seniors or elderly who may need help? Who has kids at home or at school with parents at work?
Los Angeles has an Emergency Management Coordinator (Jackie Koci Tamayo, 213-484-4810, firstname.lastname@example.org). Register for alerts at NotifyLA.org.
RYLAN (Ready Your LA Neighborhood) is a free, hands-on service by/for the city of LA. There are about 17 neighborhoods in Pacific Palisades that have implemented this program. Please visit emergency.lacity.org/Rylan about to learn about RYLAN. This is a valuable tool to make disasters less stressful by knowing what to do.
4. Communications to/with the LAFD is alive and well in the Palisades. There is an active/ongoing Amateur Radio “NET” that meets on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. for check-in. The LAFD Auxiliary Communications Service (LAFD ACS) is considered Battalion 9, we share disaster information with LAFD ACS, which then shares with the LAFD. Please know that civilian Family Radio Service (FRS) radios are a great addition to your Neighborhood Plan.
Coordinator for C.E.R.T. Training in Pacific Palisades
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.