About 130,000 Los Angeles Unified students — approximately one-third of district enrollment — have been absent from school during the first days back from winter break, ushering in another chapter of disruption in the nation’s second-largest school system.

In addition, teachers and employee absences have remained high, so office administrators and substitute teachers have had to staff classrooms. All schools have remained open for in-person learning this week. During a welcome event at Elysian Heights Elementary Arts Magnet, incoming Supt. Alberto Carvalho said the district will continue to push information to parents that Los Angeles schools are safe.

“They are safe places because of the protective measures that are in place here,” Carvalho said. “Parents need to understand that, they need to bring kids to school.”

He said the issues confronting LAUSD amid surging coronavirus rates are also hitting his home school district of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, with disruptive school conditions elevating student absentee rates and squeezing an already tight school labor market.

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