Back to school for more than half a million LAUSD students

- It's back to school Tuesday  for the nation's second-largest school district, as doors open at Los Angeles Unified campuses and its more than half a million students return to class.

With classes back in session, school buses will be back on Southland streets along with a host of parents delivering their children to campus, meaning a likely increase in some morning and mid-afternoon traffic congestion.

LAUSD administrators and school board members will be visiting various campuses throughout the day, with a celebratory theme marking the opening of the last of 131 campuses that were built to ``increase access to neighborhood schools and eliminate the need for year-round calendars.''

The beginning of the school year also marks another renewal of an annual district goal -- increasing the graduation rate.

``We are reaching new heights and we will accelerate our pace toward 100 percent graduation,'' Superintendent Michelle King said in her state-of-the- district speech earlier this month.

King said the district is committed to engaging students with tools such as dual-language pilots in 10 early education programs, research-themed magnet schools, more science and technology offerings and greater access to Advanced Placement classes.

``We must nurture our students -- who are full of hope, wonder and excitement -- about the journey that lies before them,'' King said. Those steps are all part of an effort to ``ensure that all students are in school every day and receiving quality instruction.''

King will be among the LAUSD officials making the rounds of campuses on the first day of school, including Maywood Center for Enriched Studies, Griffith STEAM Magnet Middle School, Millikan Middle School and Performing Arts Magnet and Boys Academic Leadership Academy.

``As this school year begins and the Class of 2030 enters kindergarten, I maintain an unwavering commitment to providing them, and all of our students, with the best academic preparation for college, career and leadership in the ever-changing global economy of the 21st century,'' LAUSD board member George McKenna said.

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