The Los Angeles Unified School District has released coronavirus test results for the first week of school. The district conducts the largest such testing program in the country.
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6,500 students missed one or more days of school in the first week of school in the Los Angeles Unified School District due to coronavirus cases as officials responded to preliminary results from the nation’s largest school-based coronavirus testing.
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About 3,000 students were quarantined because they tested positive for the infection during the first week or the day classes began on Aug. 16. Another 3,500 people were quarantined after they were identified as close contacts of those who tested positive.
About 451,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade attend Los Angeles Public Schools privately this fall. More than 10,000 take online classes through other independent study options.
Of the nearly 60,000 workers tested, nearly 1,000 missed at least one day of work due to infection or close contact with an infected person.
Los Angeles Unified officials say they know of no cases of person-to-person transmission while at school since the start of the school year, though some parents have questioned the claim. As of Tuesday, Los Angeles Unified University was not on the Los Angeles County Health Department’s list of possible outbreak schools.
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The district released the information in response to a request from The Times and as part of a presentation to the Board of Education on Tuesday.
Both parents and principals reported backlogs of test results, which resulted in infected children and staff returning to campus, putting others at risk. The district aims to process tests overnight, but “on time” for each district can still mean 48 hours from test time, which can take up to three days for an afternoon test.
Officials stressed that coronavirus tests represent only one layer of protection, and other safety measures, including mandatory indoor and outdoor masks, advanced air filters and hand washing, should still provide strong protection, even when no test results come back overnight. :
Other parents have had trouble returning their children to campus as soon as they are eligible because they have trouble scheduling testing appointments or reaching the district’s community engagement team for approval to return to campus.
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Some phone messages on the main district line went to the spam folder, schools Superintendent David Baca said.
He also acknowledged the problems with online study options. A week after the July 30 registration deadline, applications continued, doubling to more than 10,000 students.
“Some students … still don’t see live, daily instruction,” said Baca, who offered her email address as their primary point of contact; firstname.lastname@example.org: Three thousand more students await training.
“Every day it gets better,” Baca said. “Every week we’re going to get better and we’re going to keep working until we get it right.”
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The vast majority of students, about 97%, returned to private lessons, although some were sent home soon after. In total, about 1 in 70 students had to go into isolation or quarantine.
The district also released the number of students and staff who tested positive during the first week of school, identified as part of the district’s mandatory weekly testing program. About 2,000 students and 200 district employees have tested positive since Aug. 16. The numbers were updated Monday and are higher than those reported in the first iteration of the database, which was originally created by an outside group of parent support teachers using Sunday’s data.
In the first week of school, 6 out of 1,000 students and 4 out of 1,000 employees were found to have the coronavirus. These rates are lower than “baseline” tests conducted Aug. 2-15 and may indicate an alignment of delta variants in L.A. In communities served by Unified.
Previous county testing showed a steady increase in infection rates over the summer, from 1 in 1,000 to about 8 in 1,000 by mid-August.
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Some campuses were involved or not involved in some areas, but the impact was concentrated in other areas. Overland Elementary School on the Westside, for example, had six cases and sent four entire classes home, according to an email sent to parents.
Overland parent Alexis Rochlin has no beef with the first-grade teacher or the principal, but feels the school is changing and conflicting news about the spread of the infection and what will happen next. He also could not be reached by the county’s community engagement team. Her child is sent home after finishing the class. The teacher initially planned to continue live instruction via Zoom with the principal’s blessing, but the principal later told parents in an email that he had erred in allowing online backups.
Officials clarified during a school board meeting that teachers can switch to Zoom if they want, if the entire class is in quarantine, or simulcast to individual students at home.
Board member Tania Ortiz-Franklin said schools are challenged by both the lockdown and ongoing staff vacancies in the 183 schools in her district, which stretches from South Los Angeles to the Harbor District.
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“We have more requests for subscriptions than we can fill – 542 yesterday, 481 on Friday – so teachers are being asked to cover conference time and even administrators are covering classes,” Franklin wrote in an email. “It’s really hard and the school staff are doing what they can.”
A person is considered “isolated” at home if they have symptoms of illness or after a positive test. A person is quarantined at home after close contact with a person who has tested positive.
La. Unified revised its rules Monday to allow more students to avoid quarantine. Administrators have sent home all close contacts of the infected person. Under the new policy, vaccinated students who have been in close contact do not have to isolate until they develop symptoms, although district officials said Tuesday that people still need to be tested five days after exposure. The district’s new policy aligns with L.A.’s county policy.
“I am pleased to see this district update that differentiates the approach to vaccinated and unvaccinated members of our school community,” said school board member Nick Melvoin. The district’s policy must “follow the science and be consistent with public health guidance.”
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A close contact is someone who has been within six feet of a person with coronavirus for at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
The stay-at-home rule has affected many, even if they were positive before school started. This is due to the fact that the period of isolation, for example, is extended by at least 10 days.
Officials also released attendance figures for the first week of school. On the first day, about 84% of those expected to participate in the individual program were in class. That index is below ideal, but it could be worse. 1 in 5 students did not pass the required coronavirus test in advance. The district was able to quickly test many of those students and have same-day classes.
Attendance levels gradually increased during the week before falling to Fridays, reaching 88% on Thursdays.
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Howard Bloom covers education for the Los Angeles Times. He won the Los Angeles Press Club’s Top Investigative Reporting Award and the Los Angeles Society of Professional Journalists’ Print Journalist of the Year. He co-hosts Deadline L.A. on KPFK, which Pressclub named radio’s best public affairs show of 2010. She teaches tap dance and has two top class daughters. The Kern High School District has released its proposed boundary changes for the 2022-23 school year. This is Plan 1, which affects the existing boundaries of Irvine, East, Foothill, Golden Valley, Highland, Independence, Mira Monte, North, South, Stockdale, Ridgeview and West high schools.
The Kern High School District has released its proposed boundary changes for the 2022-23 school year. This is Plan 2, which affects the existing boundaries of Irvine, East, Golden Valley, Highland, Independence, Mira Monte, North, South, Stockdale, Ridgeview and West high schools.
The Kern High School District has released its proposed boundary changes for the 2022-23 school year. This is Plan 3, which affects the existing boundaries of Irvine, East, Foothill, Golden Valley, Highland, Independence, Mira Monte, North, South, Stockdale, Ridgeview and West high schools.
The Kern High School District Boundary Committee has released three proposal maps, along with a schedule of June dates when the public can provide input on the changes.
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The impetus for the school boundary change is the fall 2022 opening of Del Oro High School. Students who will be immediately affected by the changes are ninth- and 10th-grade zoned for Del Oro that year.
But because this process of rebuilding borders is long overdue