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School’s Back in Session: We Answer Your Questions As Schools ‘Reopen’ For Instruction

ROME, ITALY - MAY 13: Benedetta attends to her children on May 13, 2020 in Rome, Italy. The De Lazzaro family is composed of Benedetta, 38 years old and an architect and teacher, and Francesco, an anesthesiologist at the Umberto I hospital in Rome. Benedetta and Francesco have three children: Alice aged 8, Giacomo aged 6 and Livia aged 2. During the Covid-19 emergency Francesco worked very long and very stressful shifts in the hospital, while Benedetta, in addition to grocery shopping and caring for their children, their online teaching and their homework, continued to teach to her own students via online courses. As restrictions are lifted and some Italians are allowed to return to work, schools and daycares remain closed, leaving working parents in a difficult situation. This especially affects mothers, who, according to gender inequality studies, are more often caregivers in Italy's patriarchal society and must choose between their children and their careers. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images
Benedetta attends to her children on May 13, 2020 in Rome, Italy.

This week marked the return to online instruction for students at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the country.

This week marked the return to online instruction for students at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the country. 

Fall semester started earlier this week with teacher training and mandatory orientation sessions for students, but distance learning gets underway today. Amid the global pandemic, campuses will remain closed and will offer coronavirus testing and contract tracing for students and staff. LAUSD says a typical day of virtual instruction will take place from 9 a.m. through 2:15 p.m. and will include at least 90 minutes of live “synchronous” instruction every day. Daily attendance will also be taken. 

So what can students, teachers and parents expect in the weeks and months to come? How long will schools remain in distance-learning mode and do schools have plans in place should hybrid models be implemented? How will school meals be distributed to students going forward? And how will the needs of special education students be addressed in an online setting? 

Today on AirTalk, we take a step into virtual classrooms and answer your questions and confusions. We’re taking your calls 866-893-5722.

Find more on LAist, including the Distance Learning agreement, here.

Guests:

Carla Javier, KPCC/LAist reporter covering education; she tweets

Kyle Stokes, KPCC/LAist reporter covering K-12 education and the Los Angeles Unified School District; he tweets

Julie Slayton, professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California; she spent almost 10 years working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in several roles, including assistant chief of staff to the superintendent and chief accountability officer

Beth Lasky, professor of special education Cal State Northridge; she taught as a special education teacher LAUSD for 13 years; she also directs the CSUN Explorers, a program for individuals with intellectual disabilities 

Lisa Mosko, director of advocacy for special education and educational rights for Speak Up, a parent advocacy organization; she also serves on the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education at LAUSD

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