LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The Los Angeles Unified School District’s next school year will begin Aug. 18, but students won’t be returning to their classrooms, District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday.
“While the new school year will begin in August, it will not start with students at school
facilities,” Beutner said. “The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise. The news about the spread of the virus continues to be of great concern.”
The superintendent said the five-month school closure has been the longest in recent history, but the risk of widespread transmission is too great, especially since asymptomatic people can spread the virus.
This announcement comes after Los Angeles County’s health director Barbara Ferrer told district superintendents to have plans in place to continue distance learning for “100% of the time.”
She said in a news conference last week that campuses wouldn’t be opening their doors to students unless they’re sure they can avoid an “explosion of outbreaks.”
“You absolutely would not want to open a sector when you thought that the result of the reopening could be an explosion of outbreaks within that sector, so we’re going to continue to be mindful of what our data is telling us,” Ferrer said.
L.A. County has been experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The county has recorded a total of 133,549 coronavirus cases, with 3,322 new cases confirmed Sunday alone.
“More detailed information about both online and at-school programs will be shared in
the coming weeks with final plans by the first week in August,”Beutner said. “While the school year will begin without students at school facilities, our goal is to welcome students back to school as soon as it is safe and appropriate for us to do so.”