UPDATE: The Los Angeles Unified School District board will hold an emergency meeting at 7 AM on Friday to discuss the district’s response to the coronavirus.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said LAUSD needs to “proactively close all charter and public schools” in the district. The demands were made during a web conference Thursday. The school system has already banned field trips and large gatherings while cancelling most extra-curricular activities, but has not halted classes.
“Our members are professionals..and they’re going to be there for the time that it will take to get to the place of shutting the schools to shut down,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We expect that to be very rapid, very accelerated and really, to happen very quickly over the next day or so. Right now we are saying we believe a closure needs to happen quickly.”
Schools in San Francisco closed today just a day after officials there said they would remain open. Schools in Denver, Maryland, Ohio and Washington state have closed, and many private schools in Los Angeles have shut down as well. New York City schools remains open, but many large districts are carefully watching trends and refusing to eliminate the possibility of closing schools.
Los Angeles officials claim they are preparing lessons that will enable students to watch classes on television and connect with teachers over the internet. But they remain concerned that not all students have internet access and worry about the nutrition programs provided to many students.
Caputo-Pearl asked for “a proactive approach that gets ahead of the game rather than a reactive approach.” Caputo-Pearl also asked for a 10-point “social safety net” program, including an additional two weeks of paid leave to cover a possible coronavirus quarantine period, free health care for coronavirus patients, and free internet access for students.
LAUSD declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus earlier this week.
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