After more than a year of the COVID pandemic and remote learning, all LAUSD schools are reopening today at full capacity, five days per week.
But as Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said to students last week, “I think all of us know inside that this year will be again, unlike any other.”
This new academic year means weekly coronavirus tests, masks, social distancing, and plexiglass around lunch tables.
KCRW speaks with LAUSD parents who dropped off their kids at school.
Arash Farin dropped his third grader at Lanai Road Elementary School in Encino. He had trouble using LAUSD’s Daily Pass program, which is meant to track COVID-19 testing and symptoms.
“My daughter's results were not in the system, but we knew she had a test and we were pretty confident it was negative,” he says. “The school was good about it. We did a verbal exam this morning, and there weren't any lines. So all in all, it didn't work for me, but we'll get that ironed out.”
Misty LeGrande’s kindergartener Millie started her first day of school at Franklin Elementary in Los Feliz. LeGrande says she’s excited and thankful that her daughter can go to school in-person this year with strict safety measures.
“I have faith and I'm hoping that the procedures LAUSD has in place will mitigate those larger scale outbreaks,” she says. “Perhaps it's a bit of a false sense of security, but I'm seeing back-to-school photos of friends and families from other states and cities, and the differences are striking.”
Danna Rosenthal, who has a fifth grader and a fourth grader, thinks the district is going a bit too far when it comes to masking rules.
“If they say masks inside, I understand that, but what we don't understand is the mask outside,” she says. “There's a lot of evidence that does not support masking children outside. If they're doing P.E. outside in a mask, it's hot out here in LA. I think it's extreme.”
Regardless, she says she’s celebrating and praying that schools will remain open.
“I'll do whatever it takes,” Rosenthal says.