Los Angeles Unified School Closure Extended

Superintendent says grades will not be lowered

By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles school facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the school year as learning will continue remotely with one important change.

In a Monday video update, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner announced that the remainder of the school year will be completed in the current, remote fashion. Summer school will be held in a similar manner, as well.

Beautner’s announcement came a month after LAUSD closed all schools in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“When we made that decision there were 50 known cases of the virus in the Los Angeles area, and none had any connection to our school community. Since then the number of cases has increased 200 fold. Health authorities know a good deal more about the virus then they did just weeks ago. It is more contagious than they initially thought and it can be transmitted by individuals who show no symptoms. The path to reopening school facilities is not known at this time despite any speculation you may hear,” Beautner said. “We will not reopen school facilities until state and local health authorities tell us how it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

According to Beautner, for high school seniors, this will mean virtual graduation.

“More work needs to be done to help the class of 2020 get college acceptances confirmed, financial aid secured, and a summer plan completed to make sure they reach the next step on their journey. And for those students who are a few credits short, educators are working with our community college partners to make sure no student slips between the cracks.” Beutner said. “We will not allow the closure of school facilities to close the doors of opportunity for young adults earning a high school diploma.”

Grades will continue to be issued for the reminder for the year with an important caveat: students will not see their existing grades drop.

“Students can work to improve their grades but we don’t want to penalize those who may not have access to technology or may be experiencing difficulties at home,” Beuatner said.

It is unclear if these rules apply to charter schools like Palisades Charter High School. Palisades News has reached out to LAUSD for clarification, but the district could not immediately be reached

According to Beuatner, LAUSD will be offering four-week blocks of study for students over the summer at all levels with a focus on literacy, fluency in math and critical thinking.

Beutner said the LAUSD is working with Amazon to improve online connections for students, as the original platform was not developed to handle 500,000 people using simultaneously.

According to Beautner, around $4.5 million has been raised to aid in providing over 7 million meals for families through LAUSD’s Grab and Go program.

To donate, text NEED to 76278 or visit lastudentsmostinneed.org to donate and for more information.

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