Coronavirus: LA schools open community resource centers

'This is not a closure, but a transition,' NYC schools chancellor says
By: | March 16, 2020
Coronavirus closed schools in New York City, which will move to distance learning, while LAUSD calls for community resource centers to provide child care. (Kannis Lucas/Unsplash)

While coronavirus has Los Angeles USD schools closed, its leaders are now seeking volunteers to staff 40 community resources that will provide childcare and other services.

The district asked its employees to volunteer for the centers, which are set to open Wednesday. Volunteers will be paid a $100 stipend for a six-hour shift, LAUSD said on its website.

LAUSD employees are expected to continue working during the closure, the Los Angeles Times reported. Teachers will teach students online or provide homework packets while other staff keeps schools safe and clean, according to The Times. 

More from DA: Continuing to teach through coronavirus closures

Meanwhile, the only larger district in the country, New York City Public Schools, shut its buildings this weekend and is moving to remote learning until April 20.

“I want to be clear that this is not a closure, but a transition,” Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said on the district’s website. “We will not lower our expectations for our students. We know they are hungry to learn and we will match their curiosity and passion with work-from-home materials, including distribution of devices that will support our remote-learning instructional model.”

During the rest of this week, students will be able to pick up learning materials and the technology they need for remote learning. Teachers also will receive training for online education, Carranza said.

And next week, the district will open several dozen regional enrichment centers to serve the children of first responders, healthcare workers, transit workers, and “our most vulnerable populations,” Carranza also said.

More COVID-19 cancellations

The ACT announced Monday that it’s national test date will be postponed from April 4 to June 13. The College Board has canceled the May 2 SAT though not the June 6 test.

And several more states, including Connecticut, Montana and Nevada, New Jersey and New York, have shut down their schools.

“This is not an extended spring break,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement directly to students. “We are closing our schools for your safety, and for the safety of your families and neighbors. This needs to be taken seriously. I know many of you have heard that young people are low risk, but you can still be exposed to this virus and pass it on to others — to your mom, your dad, your grandparents…those you love.”

More from DA: How this district is improving emotional and physical mindfulness

In Texas, which hasn’t shut all its schools, Education Commissioner Mike Morath told K-12 superintendents schools may have to close for the rest of the academic year, The Texas Tribune reported.

Morath is leaving the decision to close up to local superintendents but urged them to prepare parents and families “sooner rather than later” that schools could be closed for more than a few weeks, according to The Texas Tribune.

Distance learning during coronavirus

In Colorado, one district has moved full steam ahead into distance learning, Chalkbeat reported.

Last week, families stopped by one elementary in Jefferson County Public Schools to pick up Chromebooks and printed copies of school assignments, according to Chalkbeat. 

District counselors will work to connect virtually with students, while administrators also work to deliver speech pathology and mental health services remotely, Chalkbeat reported.

“We intend to find a way to reach every student,” Superintendent Jason Glass told Chalkbeat.