LAUSD Aims At Reopening Elementary Schools In April

But before schools can reopen, the district is working to vaccinate teachers and workers and get an app up and running for returning students. DeMarco Morgan reports.

Video Transcript

DEMARCO MORGAN: Our students across LA will be heading back to class at some point. Superintendent Austin Beutner gave an update on their effort to reopen schools.

AUSTIN BEUTNER: As difficult as the decision was to close school classrooms, reopening is even harder. We have to balance the learning needs of students, the support we provide to working families, and the responsibility to protect the health and safety of all in the school community. We cannot and will not compromise on health and safety.

DEMARCO MORGAN: It is all about the balance there, and safety, as well. Beutner says all of the health practices and protocols in place at the schools already exceed the most recent guidelines from the CDC. And he announced the creation of the Daily Pass. It's a simple digital tool right here that will screen people and get them into the building quickly and safely by avoiding crowds at the entrance. It will also keep track of everyone in the building.

Beutner hopes to have preschools and elementary schools open by April 9. In the meantime, school workers represented by the union reached an agreement with the district for the eventual reopening of schools, as well.

Highlights of the agreement include-- check this out-- essential workers get priority for the vaccine. Also, no one will be required to return to a school or worksite without first being offered the vaccine. And those who are required to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 will receive emergency paid sick leave. Support for vulnerable students-- school workers will support expanded services to special needs students, foster youth, English-language learners, homeless students, and others who have most, of course, been impacted by learning loss.

And there will be "hero pay." We've talked about this. All workers required to report to a worksite will be paid an additional $5 an hour.