Safely Reopening our Schools
My number one priority is to maintain the safest possible environment for students, staff, parents, and our community.
Local & State Guidelines
The District must follow the guidelines of state and local health authorities to determine when and how to open our school safely. At this time, Los Angeles County is still rated purple; the state’s highest risk category, characterized as “widespread” disease.
In the last several weeks, the District began testing students and staff. So far, LAUSD has administered 50,000 tests and the goal is to be able to test 20,000 students and teachers per day. At this time, testing is only available to employees that are considered essential workers and their children or parents and their children that are participating in a child supervision program, tutoring program or any other approved instructional program in LAUSD.
The Board approved funding for devices and connectivity for all students and has worked tirelessly to make sure that every single student received a functioning computer or Chrome book and access to the internet. We continue to advocate at the local and state level to secure sustainable funding to take the burden off our schools.
I am supporting and providing leadership in BD 3 on a robust hybrid instructional plan to prepare for our students’ safe return to class. We continue to support teachers with engaging instructional content and effective strategies through differentiated professional development programs. We currently have a 98% student attendance rate district wide, and an 88% online login rate. Even though numbers are high our school and District staff continue to connect with students and their families to encourage consistent engagement in learning and provide social emotional support during this challenging time.
Meals and School-based Relief
So far, the District has provided 70 million meals to students and families and has had 8 million items donated through their LA Students Most in Need campaign. This is the largest, school-based relief effort.
I am excited that we have begun implementing one-on-one tutoring for students who need extra assistance and support during and after regular instructional periods, both in person and online. In the first cycle, which is active in 216 schools has been serving 700 students. The focus has been on serving our most vulnerable student populations (Student with disabilities, Foster youth, Homeless Youth and English Learners).
Supporting our Most Vulnerable Students
I am committed to making sure that our most vulnerable students, whose families are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, recover from the the many effects of learning loss during the pandemic that also affect them disproportionately.
I want to ensure that district staff address the most critical barriers including: lack of access to digital devices and wifi, school–family communication gaps, parents’ limited capacity to support home learning,
I want to ensure teachers and district staff :
- participate in professional development on digital instruction that includes a focus on English Learners and Students with Special Needs
- provide intentional English Language development during content classes,
- explore ways to help parents develop their digital literacy and systems knowledge so they can be effective partners in helping students navigate online and digital learning resources,
- make sure students in special education receive the full range of supports they received under their individualized plans before the pandemic, and that they
- ensure that families of children with intensive needs are able to receive in-home support from paraprofessionals who can help them with their Zoom meetings and online learning.
Advocacy for fair and adequate funding for our schools in order to:
- Reduce class sizes
- Fully fund services for students with special needs and provide support to parents during the formulation and implementation of a students’ IEP.
- Ensure our students and families receive the services and support they need by transitioning as many neighborhood schools as possible to a Community School Model with wrap-around services and support.
- Make sure our school facilities are well maintained and remain a source of neighborhood pride and enhanced property values.
I will demand that Sacramento do more for urban school districts like LAUSD as well as continuing to foster more community/business partnerships, other feasible funding mechanisms, and diligently identify areas where we can maximize savings and eliminate any wasteful spending.
Make sure our school facilities are well maintained and remain a source of neighborhood pride and enhanced property values.
But there is still much to do to ensure that all our students are getting the education they deserve.