Fewer than 3 in 10 students would return to campus based on survey results compiled by Los Angeles school officials, with the rates much worse in areas hard hit by the pandemic and for students in middle and high schools, who must continue to learn online even when back in classrooms.
Of those families who submitted a district survey, 42% opted for a return to campus. However, when those responses are applied to 465,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade — accounting for the default to online for those who did not respond — the numbers are stark: 28% of elementary school students would return; 17% of middle schoolers; 10% of high schoolers.
School district officials have launched a confidence-building campaign to persuade families to come back, citing safety standards among the most strict in the nation and the harms of learning loss. Last week there were more than 40 “town halls” — one of the most notable was on Sunday, when districts officials appeared with local clergy to make the pitch, answer questions and ease anxieties.
“This is an urgent challenge for all of us to address, not just those who work in schools,” L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner said in remarks prepared for his Monday weekly broadcast. “The best learning for most students happens in a school classroom and some children may face a lifetime of consequence if they’re not back in a school classroom sometime soon.”
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