LAUSD’s 1st day back to school, online and on Zoom, is anything but normal

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New back-to-school shoes, but no recess to run around. Decorative Zoom backgrounds instead of artwork newly stapled on bulletin boards. Freshly waxed floors with no students to scuff them up.

A new school year like no other begins Tuesday in Los Angeles when some 500,000 students are expected to sign on and show up at a distance — and for many, at a disadvantage — devoid of the traditional in-person joy of seeing friends and teachers.

Campuses are deserted except for a skeleton staff, but some 30,000 teachers from 1,400 schools will fire up their computers from home, virtually beckoning children to participate in online learning as they test their first daily schedule since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced campuses to close.

At the time, educators — in L.A. and throughout the state and the nation — abandoned campuses almost overnight, leaving many families without computers or internet for weeks and exacerbating the academic divide that separates those with resources from those with fewer advantages, including low-income Latino and Black families.

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