Schools in Long Beach, Calif., Start Reopening This Week

California continued its disproportionate progress in reopening schools on Monday, as elementary students returned to classes in Long Beach, the state’s fourth-largest district, with 70,000 students.

Public schools in the top three districts of the state by enrollment – Los angeles, San Diego and Fresno – have said they will start allowing grade-school students back on campus after April, as new coronovirus cases have fallen sharply throughout California.

Schools in Oakland and San Francisco are also scheduled to reopen next month for students with elementary and special needs. But labor agreements in both cities have allowed substantial numbers of teachers to be selected, prompting some schools to reopen without enough teachers and others to scramble for options.

Although many small California districts have been open for months, the West Coast has larger urban districts Usually lagged behind Behind their counterparts in the rest of the nation. Increased infections in Southern California after winter vacation were partly responsible for the slow rebound in the Los Angeles school system.

Teachers’ unions are generally more powerful in Democratic-led Washington, Oregon and California than in many other states, and teachers have been wary of reverting to what they consider to be a dangerous workplace despite the guidance of federal work that Precautions are particularly safe for health.

Long Beach School District is competent Open earlier than other large California school systems Because the labor unions there had agreed to reopen last summer as soon as health conditions were allowed, and because the city was able to start vaccinating teachers earlier than other districts in the state.

Unlike most other cities in Los Angeles County, Long Beach has its own public health department, which empowers the city to supply its own vaccine and set its own vaccine priorities, at a time when county teachers as a whole Other groups, such as residents 65 and older, were vaccinated after waiting to form.

“A city with its own health department has the potential to be more agile,” said Jill Baker, the city’s superintendent of schools, who called the return to classrooms this week “exciting and momentary.”

The school district is one of the city’s largest employers, and two-thirds of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, so vaccinating school employees and reopening classrooms was financially important , Ms. Baker said.

About 14,000 students from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade to Long Beach will return to school buildings this week for masked, sanitized and socially disordered instruction. They will be on a hybrid schedule, with approximately 2 at hours in school each day, five days a week, and a school day complete with distance learning.

In-class classes for older students are scheduled to resume on April 19, with grades 6 to 8 on April 20 and grades 9 through April 11 returning. The last day of school will be in mid-June.

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