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LA schools, teachers reach tentative deal to restore in-person learning

LA schools, teachers reach tentative deal to restore in-person learning
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The Los Angeles Unified School District has reached a tentative deal with its teacher’s union to restore in-person learning by next month.

The school district announced the deal in a joint statement with Unified Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) on Tuesday. The deal sets conditions that are dependent on COVID-19 safety standards in schools, lower levels of the virus within the community and vaccinations for school staff.

Schools plan on reopening in mid-April for preschool and elementary school students, and the end of April for secondary students.

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Under the agreement, Los Angeles schools would reopen in a hybrid model of online and in-person instruction, and students would remain in small cohorts while on campus. Students will also have the option to remain in online-only instruction.

Full-day, in-person instruction would take place for preschool students. Secondary students will continue with daily online instruction and will have the chance to return to campus for certain subjects such as peer interaction and lessons for college and career exploration.

All students and staff will have to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus, and weekly testing will be provided afterward. Masks and social distancing will be implemented for students, staff and visitors.

Meals will also be provided for students at schools, regardless of whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction.

The contract is subject to approval by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education and ratification by the UTLA membership. If both parties approve, the contract remains in effect through June 30, 2021.

Superintendent Austin Beutner and UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a joint statement that the deal is “our shared commitment to the highest safety standards and spirit of trust and collaboration we will take with us back to schools.”

The agreement comes amid a broader push to open schools in the state soon.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia reopening economy, lifting COVID-19 restrictions Caitlyn Jenner wants to use funds for bullet train project to build rest of Trump border wall Feds agree to restore B to California for bullet train MORE (D) announced a deal with lawmakers last Monday that would provide $6.6 billion to schools that return to in-person learning by the end of March.