L.A. County allows K-12 schools to offer in-person services to students with certain needs

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Los Angeles County health officials announced Wednesday that K-12 schools may soon resume in-person instruction for a limited cohort of students with specific needs.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, K-12 schools may offer in-school services for small groups of students with individualized education plans, students requiring instruction for English as a second language and to students needing assessments or specialized in-school services, county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said at a news conference.

“This will get children who are in the most need of in-person learning back into the classrooms,” Muntu said.

The schools must first be able to fully implement the county health officer’s reopening protocols.

The schools must maintain small, stable cohorts of no more than 12 students and two supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We will not be opening the waiver program for instruction of students in grades TK-6 as we monitor the implementation of this effort to safely get students needing specialized in-school services back at school,” the health officer added.

Last week, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner addressed the possibility of reopening campuses for all students, saying that while the county is seeing a decline in the level of new coronavirus cases, the figure is still above state guidelines.

One of the key steps to resuming in-person learning is the district’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing initiative.

LAUSD’s school year started entirely online last week, with attendance on the first day just slightly down from last year, according to Beutner. The decline in kindergarten enrollment, however —particularly in the district’s lowest income neighborhoods — was about three times as large as in recent years.

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