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LAUSD will offer voluntary one-on-one tutoring in person and online “for students who need it most,” Supt. Austin Beutner said Monday, a week before the new school year starts for the district.

Teachers and principals will work to identify students who can benefit from the program, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Online help will be offered to K-8 students through the nonprofit Step Up Tutoring, which uses college students and volunteers. Those interested in volunteering can visit

The pilot effort will initially serve 500 students in the Huntington Park, Fremont and Taft school communities, Beutner said.

Previously, LAUSD said it will offer additional support for students including tutoring by appointment after school or on Saturdays when possible.

The school year starts the week of Aug. 18 with teachers scheduled to do preparation work that Monday. Principals will hold online meetings with students and their parents or guardians on Tuesday, and teachers will meet with families on Wednesday. Schools will have more information on their websites, Beutner said.

The superintendent noted that campuses in New York, San Francisco or San Diego may reopen as scheduled after Labor Day, before Los Angeles campuses do.

“Any decision about the return of students to school is still some time away based on local health conditions,” Beutner said.

LAUSD will listen to the community, the superintendent added.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking small numbers of teachers, students and families to school sites throughout the school district to get their feedback on how we might improve the preparations,” Beutner said.

While California allows elementary schools to apply for waivers to offer in-person classes, L.A. County health officials have said they will not accept any applications for waivers, citing the local rate of coronavirus cases.

LAUSD’s school year will begin online just days after a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that nearly 100,000 children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 during the last two weeks of July.

In a statement Monday, the United Teachers Los Angeles union said it will continue to challenge the district and the state and federal government to “do what’s right.”

“We are living in volatile, uncertain times, and we will not be forced to physically return to our schools during a still-surging pandemic,” UTLA said.