LAUSD parents concerned about plan for upcoming school year

LAUSD Superintendent, Austin Beutner, made a short announcement Monday discussing the possibilities for students in the fall, and some parents are concerned.

Beutner said there's no timetable regarding when kids will be able to return to school buildings, but the fall semester will likely include distance learning.

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"Training was needed for students and for families on how to use these tools as well as the many different communication and education technologies required for online education," said Beutner.

Beutner said the new school year will include a regular class schedule, attendance is taken daily, and standard instruction including daily live instruction with possibly distance learning and in-person learning combined.

"If these sound like an ambitious set of expectations, they are and they're necessary. COVID-19 continues to be a real threat to all the communities we serve and it doesn't look like that will change any time soon. We have to do the best we can to adapt to the challenges it presents," said Beutner.

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However, parents like Brenda Del Hierro, are concerned about the lack of clear messaging coming from the district. Del Hierro has a 3rd grader and a 6th-grade student in LAUSD.  

"I feel as a parent, we need to know ahead of time with enough time what the plan is going to be. I have mixed emotions if it's going to be a hybrid if it's going to be on campus. I know for my children socially, emotionally, they need to be on campus, but I know those campuses are not fully equipped to serve our children, our community members, or our teachers.

Del Hierro is at home with her kids, but said it is "stressful" and is concerned about other parents who have to return to work.

"I can't even imagine as a working parent having to teach a child and do their job, it's impossible," she said.  

Del Hierro is also concerned about equipment and PPE at schools. 

"Do I need to buy my kids back to school clothes or do I need to buy them pajamas for home? What do I need to do? There's not enough equipment for our children, not enough equipment for our teachers. Our teachers can barely get pencils for their classrooms. How are we going to give them cleaning supplies? There's budget cuts every single year," she said.

Other large districts like Long Beach Unified, Santa Ana Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, and Corona-Norco Unified are weighing their options with hybrid learning too.

The LAUSD school year starts August 18.