LA County announces it will not yet issue waivers to elementary schools to reopen
By Sam Catanzaro
Pacific Palisades’ Seven Arrows Elementary School will likely begin the school year remotely as Los Angeles County health officials announced they will not yet be issuing waivers for elementary schools to resume in-person learning.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (Public Health) said it will adhere to new guidance from the California Department of Public Health which recommends that Counties with case rates at or above 200 cases per 100,000 residents do not extend waivers for the re-opening of classroom instruction for students in grades TK- 6. Los Angeles County’s case rate currently is around 355 per 100,000, according to Public Health.
“We know that to many families, this is a disappointing announcement, but it’s based on the existing science and data that is guiding all of our decision-making. We need to ensure the health and safety of our children, school teachers and staff and all of their families,” reads the statement. “This decision will be reconsidered once the case rate falls to the levels recommended by the State.”
Following this announcement, Seven Arrows–which had previously applied for a waiver and indicated they hoped to open for in-person instruction–released a statement saying that classes will most likely begin remotely.
“While the County is trending downwards in terms of numbers, we are certainly not at that level today. We have time for the numbers to drop, but it is not looking hopeful we will be there by September 3,” reads the statement, referencing the first day of classes, which had been pushed back from August 2. “It is time to start planning for the likelihood that we will begin school with distance learning. More information about our plans will be provided in detail at the upcoming Town Hall Meetings.”
As of Wednesday, Public Health has identified 197,912 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 4,825 deaths. In Pacific Palisades, there have been 100 cases and three deaths.