Los Angeles Unified School District campuses will remain closed until at least May 1, Superintendent Austin Beutner told parents Monday, while also announcing a partnership with the San Diego school system to call for a “coordinated state response” to help districts affected by the coronavirus crisis.
In a message to parents, Beutner said that while school closures will continue through May 1, the future beyond that still remains uncertain.
“This past week marks the start of a new chapter for all who are part of our school community,” Beutner said of the school closures, which were originally planned only through the end of March. “Students are learning in different ways, teachers are teaching in different ways and families are struggling to support their children in their studies while balancing other responsibilities.
“I with I could tell you it will all be back to normal sometime soon, but it does not look like that will be the case,” according to Beutner.
The superintendent planned to make a televised public address about the situation at 11 a.m.
On Friday, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo recommended that campuses remain off limits until May 5.
“In the interest of public safety and the health of our children and most vulnerable community members, we are asking our 80 school districts to remain closed with students returning on May 5,” Duardo said in a statement Friday. “School closures will help prevent transmission of their staff, students and families for all that they are doing to ensure that learning continues and that vital nutrition and meal services are provided.”
The Long Beach Unified School District quickly announced Friday it was adhering to the recommendation. In Industry, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District said it would extend its coronavirus-related hiatus until May 5.
Beutner and San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten on Monday made a joint plea to the state Legislature asking for financial assistance from the state, calling the coronavirus crisis “the largest adaptive challenge for large urban public education systems in a generation.”
“Pick your metaphor: This is the moon shot, the Manhattan Project, the Normandy landing, and the Marshall Plan, and the clock is ticking,” the superintendents wrote in a joint letter to state legislators. The leaders noted that their two districts collectively include 750,000 students.
“Knowing the incredible sacrifices our teachers and support staff have made already, it is time to acknowledge that much work lies ahead,” according to their letter. “Our schools and families have met this challenge so far with determination, but our students deserve much more, and we want to work with our legislative leaders to ensure each and every student can continue his or her academic journey.”