Coronavirus Pandemic: LA Unified will start upcoming school year on August 18, but no timeline for reopening campuses

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Unified School District will start the upcoming academic year on Aug. 18, district officials announced Monday.

Superintendent Austin Beutner did not clarify whether classes will resume on campus or if online instruction will continue. Summer classes will start some time in the middle of June.

We've made no decisions about the opening of school facilities by that date and will not until the science and health authorities tell us it is safe and appropriate to do so," Beutner said.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner will discuss the development, including how schools will reopen, teacher training and plans for graduation and summer school, according to an LAUSD spokesperson.

"Distance learning" has been in place for the nation's second largest school district since schools closed on March 13, but the next school year is expected to begin on time.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces 4 phases to reopen CA businesses and schools

Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week the next academic year for California schools could start as early as the end of July or beginning of August, though there will likely be some modifications.

The governor made the announcement with "cautious optimism" as the state looks toward easing statewide stay-at-home orders within the next few weeks, instead of months.

Newsom said the possibility of pushing up the next school year comes amid ongoing concerns of "learning losses," though a decision on start dates has not yet been made.

Beutner previously said the decision would need to include COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

"As soon as the scientists tell us how, we'll figure out the when," he said.

The superintendent did not say who would pay for the testing, tracing or whether it would include all 700,000 students and 75,000 district personnel.

However, Beutner said that when schools closed in mid-March, there were no cases of the novel virus and he wants to keep it that way.

"What we've shared with our school community is we need to be careful that the efforts we made to close schools back on March 13th, school facilities, that we don't suffer a setback.We closed with no COVID diagnosis in any school community and we don't want a hasty return reverse the success of that effort," Beutner said.

LAUSD has not yet shared plans for whether facilities will be reopened by mid-August.

Beutner said he is looking for further guidance from health authorities before the school district can make that decision.
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