As a father and grandfather, I am in agreement with Governor Newsom that the health and safety of our children must be a priority when assessing the standards by which our schools should re-open during this pandemic.
With 170 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) campuses in my district, I represent the largest number of LAUSD schools, and second largest concentration of charter schools, in Los Angeles.
Maintaining instruction via remote learning, while not ideal, will provide daily interaction between students, teachers and fellow classmates and help mitigate learning loss. Many school districts are improving remote learning lessons by providing teacher training on new technologies, standardizing the use of online apps for parents and students to use and hosting virtual town halls for parents to address questions related to school openings in the fall.
To their credit, LAUSD has already announced remote learning for the school year and has done a remarkable job of providing tablets to students. The free grab and go meals program I was proud to have participated in, will once again help support students in need of nutritional options throughout the week.
I will work with my Assembly colleagues and the Governor’s office to ensure disadvantaged students, English learners and students with special needs have the resources needed to maintain their at-grade level learning.
Additionally, I plan to meet with experts in academics and social work to help our homeless student population and those living in abusive environments by having check-ins.
Districts choosing in-class instruction or a hybrid model must be proactive with safety protocols in place for the sake of students, teachers and school staff. This includes:
- Local County Public Health Department Data qualifying in-classroom opening
- Wearing of masks (mandatory for 3rd grade and above; highly recommended for 2nd grade and below)
- Physical Distancing and other classroom adaptations
- Regular testing with contact tracing component
Finally, the education of our children is paramount and will require an extreme commitment from everyone involved as we work through this pandemic. I encourage parents to reach out to the local school district board members and superintendents to learn about their plans for reopening of classes and what resources they may have in terms of after school programs, tutoring services and childcare offerings.
If ever there was a time when the old adage of it takes a village to raise a child has real-life meaning that time is now.
Please contact my office with any questions related to the new guidelines and standards set by the Governor.
Stay safe. Remain informed. Be strong.
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer
Chair, Assembly Public Safety CommitteeRepresenting the communities of Huntington Park, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, South Los Angeles and Exposition Park