March 9, 2021News
- Agreement Reached on Physically Reopening Schools
- Preschools, elementary schools and services for students with learning differences and disabilities to reopen by mid-April; secondary schools by the end of April
- Agreement sets a new standard with all 3 pillars of the safest possible reopening – the highest COVID safety standards at schools, lower levels of the virus in the community and vaccinations for school staff
LOS ANGELES (March 9, 2021) – Los Angeles Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) announced they have reached a tentative agreement on how to reopen schools for in-person instruction as soon as possible and in the safest way possible. The agreement provides for a hybrid model combining online and in-person instruction, with students remaining in small, stable cohorts while on campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
School classrooms plan to reopen in mid-April for preschool and elementary school students, and the end of April for secondary schools.
“The agreement provides for the reopening of schools when Los Angeles County is in the red tier according to the state school guidelines, that all staff have access to the COVID vaccine and that schools are kept clean and safe,” Superintendent Austin Beutner and UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “As we have both stated for some time, the right way to reopen schools must include the highest standard of COVID safety in schools, continued reduction of the virus in the communities we serve and access to vaccinations for school staff. This agreement achieves that shared set of goals. It’s our shared commitment to the highest safety standards and spirit of trust and collaboration we will take with us back to schools.”
Summary of Agreement
Daily in-person instruction for elementary school students in a hybrid morning/afternoon model, while maintaining the option for students to remain in online-only instruction.
- Secondary students will continue with daily online instruction, along with the opportunity to return to campus for peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration.
- Full-day, in-person instruction for preschool students.
- Maintaining current teacher assignments whenever possible.
- All students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, and weekly COVID testing will be provided thereafter.
- Masks and social distancing for students, staff and visitors at schools.
- Schools will be kept clean and safe. Los Angeles Unified has already invested more than $120 million to upgrade air-filtration systems, procure adequate stocks of personal protective equipment and add extra custodial staff.
- Social-emotional supports for all students.
- Additional professional development for teachers.
- Meals will be provided for students at schools, whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction.
The agreement is subject to the approval by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education and ratification by the UTLA membership. If approved by both parties, the contract will be in effect through June 30, 2021.