LAUSD, administrators union reach deal on eventual return to in-person classes

A public elementary school campus in Los Angeles, California August 17, 2020 one day before the start of the new school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced a tentative agreement with the union representing principals and administrators, outlining protocols for the eventual reopening of school campuses.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no timeline for the full opening of campuses. The agreement announced Friday outlines safety guidelines for the return of students, citing a "hybrid model'' combining online and in-person instruction, with students limited to ``small, stable cohorts while on campus.''

In a joint statement, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles President John Flecha conceded that online learning "pales in comparison to the education and support (students)
receive at schools.''

"We are preparing to serve students at schools as soon as it's possible, in the safest way possible,'' they said. "Our plans include the highest standards for health, education and employee practices at schools. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of administrators who are leading the charge to ensure our schools are ready to return in a hybrid learning model.''

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The agreement includes provisions calling for all students and staff to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campuses, and safety protocols at schools, including face masks, social distancing and grouping of students in small cohorts.

It also calls for effective communication with students and staff about the required safety standards, and includes an unspecified "stipend'' for administrators ``in recognition of the extraordinary effort involved in planning for and implementing this effort.''

The deal requires the approval of the LAUSD Board of Education.

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