As LAUSD students gear up to go ‘back-to-school’ at home, no two distance-learning setups are alike

It is back-to-school - at home - for hundreds of thousands of Southland kids, and families are readying their distance-learning setups.

“I’m going to sit at the kitchen table and kind of make myself a little space where I have my books, my pencils, my binder, all ready to go so I can just wake up at 9 a.m., go sit down, and be ready to finish at 2,” said Abraham Lincoln High School senior Ashley Moreno.

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She and her classmates went to the school for the first time in months to pick up their textbooks and other supplies.

“It’s different. And it’s kind of weird getting used to the fact that I’m not going to be seeing my friends, that our senior activities may be pushed or maybe not able to happen. So it’s just very...weird,” she said.

For many of Los Angeles Unified School District’s nearly 700,000 students, home learning will take place in tight quarters.

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High school junior Hector Vizcarra lives in a small Montecito Heights-area home with his mom, younger brother, and adult sister. He now has a desk set up next to his bed, and his younger brother will study from a folding table set up in the living room next to his sister’s bed.

While he and his family are trying to stay positive about the fall semester, they face plenty of challenges.

“The hotspot is pretty slow, the school has been providing with us with a free hot spot, then again it kind of blocks off most of the important websites that I go to,” said Hector.

There are also challenges to living, working, and studying in the same small space every day.

“There’s usually kind of get that lack of self-motivation, you kind of just want to stay in bed all day, and you kind of want to procrastinate,” Hector said.


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Hector and his brother are two of nearly 700,000 LAUSD students who are about to start the 2020 school year at home.

Teacher training starts today, students will attend mandatory orientation sessions tomorrow and Wednesday, and the first day of actual instruction will start on Thursday.

“I think the younger generation will kind of develop a sense of independence after this, because they’re kind of getting used to this virtual learning, so hopefully it will kind of prepare them for the future, kind of get used to this.”

California State University of Los Angeles student Fabiola Flores is gearing up for what will likely be a chaotic school year in her family’s multi-generational household, which includes her parents, grandmother, and four younger siblings.

“We take turns with helping each other. And especially me, since I’m on a lenient schedule, so I can help someone one day, I can help others the next day - we have different rotations,” she said.

Today, she accompanied her younger sister Angela to pick up supplies at Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights.

This is Angela’s freshman year, and with so many people distance-learning under the same roof, she’s planning for an unusual study setup.

“I’m just going to be on my bed, but just sitting down,” she said. “That’s easier for me!”

Distance-learning plans for LAUSD’s fall semester include an average school day from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and daily attendance will be taken.

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