Long Beach school district will reopen in-person learning for grades K-12

LBUSD plans to reopen elementary schools for in-person learning on March 29. Middle and high schools will return to campus by April. Photo credit: Long Beach Unified School District

LBUSD plans to reopen elementary schools for in-person learning on March 29. Middle and high schools will return to campus by April. Photo credit: Long Beach Unified School District

Diana Huizar

The Long Beach Unified School District approved the COVID-19 Pandemic School Opening and Safety Plan to allow elementary, middle and high schools to return to campus.

Elementary schools will return for in-person learning on March 29.

Middle school students will go back to campus on April 20. High school seniors will go back on April 19 and freshman, sophomores and juniors will go back on April 26.

The Long Beach Health Department approved the district’s reopening plan on March 8.

According to the LBUSD website, elementary students will take a survey and decide whether they want to go back to in-person learning or stay home and do their courses online.

They announced that middle and high school students would get the same choice.

Masks will be enforced at all times for students and faculty on campus.

Teachers will be socially distanced while in the classroom and the district stated that the Coronavirus vaccine is optional for instructors.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School teacher Danielle Sawyer explained the new protocols.

“What are the COVID-19 vaccination protocols? There is none,” she explained.

“It’s optional at this time because it was an emergency approval by the FDA. So when it was an emergency approval like that, it can not be made mandatory in regards to a connection for employment. So at this point, Long Beach offers all their teachers a vaccine if they want it, but only teachers who want to get it can sign up to get it. Teachers must go to campus on April 12, so they can be prepared for their students when they return to school.”

“Every single teacher’s temperature has to be taken and survey questions have to be asked before they’re allowed on campus,” Sayer says. “We have to maintain a certain amount of cleanliness in our own room during the day. Responsibilities in order to meet certain requirements like wiping down computer keyboards, tables, desks, high traffic areas like doorknobs and other places that the kids might touch. So we have to take on those roles in between each period.”

Sawyer also explained the struggle instructors are facing to teach students in-person and at home.

“We also have to teach two different classes at the same time. We teach the kids who have chosen to stay home and finish up the semester online and we teach the kids in the classroom,” the instructor said. “We can not interact with kids. Like if there are kids that have chosen to come back to campus we can’t hand them supplies, give them handouts, sit next to them, we can’t help through an assignment, we have to keep away from them at least six-feet.”

“We can’t meet any of our colleagues, we have stay isolated in our rooms, and if we are experiencing any possible COVID-19 symptoms we have to call the school and then we have to quarantine ourselves until we get a test and it shows negative, and if it shows positive, we have to stay home 14 days without pay.”

The Long Beach Unified School District did not return calls for a comment on their reopening plan.