LA's teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, pushed back on the CDC's recommendation on the grounds that the guidelines don't do enough to address challenges in large urban districts like Los Angeles.
Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, called the ability to reopen schools an encouraging sign.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said 12 school districts in the county have already had their safety plans approved, and two other districts have plans that are under review. "This encouraging news means dozens of elementary schools will be allowed to reopen for classroom instruction for students in TK-6 grades as of this week".
In order to reopen, L.A. Unified would need to submit a draft safety plan to the state and county health departments with the approval of UTLA and other union partners.
"LA County has officially reached the State's threshold for reopening elementary schools". In addition to vaccinating, he said the right set of health practices need to be placed at schools.
"This is what we have been working towards", Hahn wrote.
"Thank you to everyone who has worn your masks and kept your distance", Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County supervisor, wrote on Twitter on Monday. "Now we can continue the work of getting our kids and teachers safely back in classrooms where they belong".
However, in Beutner's February 8 address to the Los Angeles community, he said if reopening school is a priority, why not provide another protection by vaccinating school teachers and staff.
As of Sunday, the statewide metric measured 34 positive cases per day per 100,000 people. "UTLA remains committed to the health and safety of our students and our communities".
One of those key components is "vaccines for all educators and school staff", Myart-Cruz added.
Last week, the CDC released a new series of guidelines on reopening schools that included proper mask wearing, hand washing, distancing, and a focus on providing vaccines for teachers, staff, and students.
Beutner said a quarter of a million students are enrolled in LAUSD's preschool and elementary schools.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner has supported the union in its call for vaccinations.
- Creating a school-based COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program. Ferrer is expected to speak at the LAUSD Board of Education meeting about the school-reopening issue late Tuesday afternoon. Moderna vaccines will be administered by LAUSD school nurses and other licensed health care professionals.
Elementary schools could soon be resuming in- person classes across Los Angeles County, with the county's rate of new COVID- 19 infections dropping below the state's threshold Tuesday for reopening campuses for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. "This includes identifying interventions to address learning loss and working with districts to develop protocols to safely celebrate the class of 2021, including options for commencement ceremonies this spring".
Previously, school officials expressed doubt as recently as last week regarding whether seventh- to 12th-grade students would be able to return to campus this year. Most were still processing the announcement when reached for comment Monday evening. The union also wants for all teachers to be vaccinated before returning to campuses, a precaution thatGov. Officials said they hope it will help communities and school staff evaluate their own reopening plans.