After what could only be described as a horrendous school year for students, LAUSD has finally approved a plan to reopen campuses across Los Angeles. Given the harsh realities of distance learning, one might expect that a return to the classroom would be met with thunderous applause. However, parents’ reception to this news has largely been anything but joyous. In fact, despite the fact that LAUSD schools are set to reopen, many Angeleno parents are extremely reluctant to send their kids back to campus. Approximately three-fifths of LAUSD’s families have informed the district of their decision regarding a return to campus. Of those that responded, less than half stated their students will return.
(This is a developing story, and may be updated as more families turn in their LAUSD surveys)
Why are parents hesitating? We look to answer that question and much more:
By the Numbers
The rollout of the various COVID-19 vaccines decidedly less than stellar, both here in LA and all over the country. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti even decided to do something about the vaccine dearth in the hardest-hit communities. As a result, many parents remain concerned about sending their children back to school. Compounding this? Students under 16 years old have no official timetable for receiving the vaccine yet. In that vein, the parents’ rationale makes much more sense. Here are the most significant statistics, according to the latest results of the LAUSD survey:
- Parents of 50% of LAUSD’s elementary students indicated they plan to send their kids back
- A scant 36% of LAUSD’s middle schoolers would return in person
- Approximately 26% of LAUSD’s high schools plan to return
In addition to the vaccine scarcity (which is soon changing), many parents cited their frustration with the reopening plan. This is particularly true for parents of high schoolers, who are slated to learn via a hybrid model. That hybrid model includes remote learning, to the utter dismay of many parents. Making matters worse, middle and high school students will only return to campus for half the week.
Promising Partnership for Vaccinations
In a direct response to parents’ hesitation, the district of Los Angeles has partnered with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center to vaccinate family members of LAUSD students. Those interested can begin receiving vaccinations on April 5th at two locations: Abraham Lincoln Senior High School in East LA and George Washington Preparatory Senior High School in South LA. This effort is designed to help family members from communities hit hard by the coronavirus. Therefore, St. John’s will verify each individual’s ZIP code to confirm eligibility.
“This partnership is about vaccine equity — making sure that those most impacted by COVID in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods have access to the COVID vaccine.”Jim Mangia, President & CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center
(quote courtesy of Los Angeles Daily News)
The Current Plan
Nearly all LAUSD preschools and elementary campuses are scheduled to reopen the week of April 19. However, Superintendent Autin Beutner stated that 50 elementary schools and 10 early education centers will reopen the week of April 12. Meanwhile, middle and high schools will reopen the week of April 26. Contingent with that reopening is the testing of all students and staff one week before their return. After that juncture, students will receive weekly coronavirus testing at their desks. It’s important to note that the current plan only lasts until June 30. Plans for the following school year have not been solidified at this time. In all likelihood, LAUSD will analyze this short burst of in-person learning in determining a plan for the Fall of 2021.
Are you planning on sending your kid(s) back to school? Why or why not? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!