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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Despite Omicron, LA students are back in class.

Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the United States, is moving forward with plans to open its classrooms to in-person learning on Tuesday.

Like other school districts across the country, Los Angeles Unified is facing not only uncertainty about the Omicron option, but also politicized tensions over the possibility of a return to remote learning, as well as a shortage of teachers that schools are forced to fight.

Most of the students attended classes last fall, hung out with their friends, and regained the traces of normality they had lost almost two years ago. Now, school districts across the United States are trying to chart a path forward as the number of coronavirus cases hits records again.

Last school year, Los Angeles public schools had one of the longest closures in the country. The district is tightening security measures, but officials seem determined to keep kids in their classrooms.

“We know there are concerns and we have added extra layers of protection for returning to school,” Megan K. Reilly, Acting Superintendent, said in a video message on Monday. “At the beginning of the school day, there may be several queues, and waiting times for buses may increase.”

Nazli Santana, the mother of two high school students who will return to class on Tuesday, said she wished the district had waited a little longer. “If they could just close it for another two weeks, that would be helpful,” she said.

Last week, the district issued new rules requiring testing as a condition of returning to campus, regardless of vaccination status. Schools have organized testing and vaccination points for students for coronavirus, as well as tests at home. Masks are required on campus. The requirement to vaccinate students aged 12 and over was supposed to go into effect this week, but it has been delayed until the fall.

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County data showed that during the week ending Monday, out of approximately 458,000 student and employee tests, 66,000 tested positive for the coronavirus, more than 15 percent — lower than the county, state, and national averages, but still high enough to cause alarm.

“I’m worried, as are many parents,” said Amanda Santos, whose 7-year-old is in the district’s first grade.

For months, Ms. Santos followed an online panel where the county shared data. For most of the fall semester, her son’s elementary school’s weekly report showed only a couple of positive cases at a time. But during the winter holidays, she saw that number increased to dozens.

It was unsettling, Ms. Santos said. But she added that the schools seem to care about safety and keep parents well informed. “They don’t let anyone on campus who has a positive test or who doesn’t get tested,” she said. “So I feel safe.”

Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of the local teachers’ union, said in a statement on Monday that the area is “in a better position than most others in the country” because of the security measures in place.

“This week will be busy and there will be disruptions,” she added. “Nobody has a playbook at the moment.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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