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Los Angeles teachers’ union approves plan to reopen schools

A Los Angeles teachers’ union approved a plan that will permit schools to reopen in April through in-person and hybrid learning methods.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials are planning to resume in-person learning for elementary and preschool students by mid-April, according to Reuters. Grades 7-12 are expected to return to the classroom by the end of next month.

Elementary school teachers will teach classes in-person, with some exceptions for those with verified medical reasons, who will continue to teach remotely. 

Middle- and high-school teachers will be doing a hybrid method of teaching but it will mostly be done remotely.

“While the improving COVID-19 situation is still fragile, we believe this agreement puts LAUSD on the path to a physical reopening of schools that puts safety first,” union President Cecily Myart-Cruz said.

The plan also includes providing personal protective equipment, improved ventilation and daily cleaning and disinfection. The union also is considering the possibility of outdoor tents for larger classes.

The Biden administration had previously said that it aimed to have all students K-8 back to in-person learning in the first 100 days.

President Biden pushed for teachers to be among the first Americans to get coronavirus vaccines. However, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said teachers being vaccinated would not be required for schools to be fully reopened.

“I think we’ve seen examples where schools can open safely and be effective,” Cardona said. “But we know that prioritizing vaccinations will only assist with that.”