Over half of Los Angeles parents want to send students back to school for hybrid in-school learning starting mid-April based on early polling.

Austin Beutner, superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), gave an update Monday on the district’s schools.

Beutner spoke about the agreement between the district and the labor partners to reopen schools:

Los Angeles Unified has now reached agreement with all our labor partners on plans to reopen schools. These agreements provide for a hybrid model at all grade levels, combining in-person and online instruction with students remaining in small, stable cohorts while at school to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The superintendent mentioned a survey started last week asking families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District about their preference on returning to school.

The Los Angeles Times reported the survey asked approximately 465,000 families for their input.

Beutner mentioned about ten percent of the parents had completed their surveys which asked whether the students should continue to remain online or return to campus for a hybrid program around mid-April or later.

Out of the families who have responded, 51 percent overall would return to an in-person class. Almost 62 percent of elementary school families favor returning, along with 44 percent of middle school families and 33 percent of high school families.

“The greatest reluctance to sending their children back to schools is in the communities hardest hit by the virus,” Beutner said.

Beutner also mentioned what the District is doing to make sure kids are safe when going back to school, while maintaining the best possible learning experience for students:

We know the best learning for most students happens in a school classroom and the opportunity gaps for students from low-income families will only widen if they are not back in a school classroom. This is an urgent challenge for all of us, not just schools, to see what we can do about this and do about it now.

The first thing we can do is what school are already doing — create the safest possible school environment. No school district in the nation has taken all of the steps Los Angeles United has to protect the health and safely of all in the school community, Air-filtration systems have been upgraded in every school, custodial staff has been doubled to clean and sanitize every classroom, all students and staff will be provided with weekly COVID tests at schools and all staff are being offered access to the vaccine.

The second step must be clear and consistent standards about what constitutes a safe school environment. Heath authorities still need to align local, state, and federal guidelines. This consistency and alignment will help build the trust of all stake holders in the school community.

Breitbart News recently reported on a study that found attending school does not increase the risk for children as long as the health guidelines are followed. Wearing masks, physically distancing, increasing hygiene regimens, and improving ventilation add layers of protection to mitigate risks for students and staff.

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