Teachers, District Reach Agreement on Classes amid COVID-19; Details Remain

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Members of the United Teachers Los Angeles stated today that they have come to an agreement with school district officials on a plan for distanced learning in the spring semester but some details remain to be worked out.

UTLA officials announced that at 2:30 p.m., they will speak about an agreement with Los Angeles Unified School District on plans to return to distanced learning, as well as meetings regarding plans to resume in-person learning.

Per the agreement, the school district and UTLA-represented employees will begin work on Jan. 11 on the new plans for distanced learning. LAUSD officials said that by Jan. 24, the district will discuss plans with UTLA on how to plan for students' return to in-person instruction, abiding by county health orders.

Students identified as needing in-person instruction will be prioritized to return to campus first, LAUSD stated.

A “Smart Start'' session will begin Jan. 12 to allow teachers and students to “focus on relationship-building and social emotional learning,'' which LAUSD officials said will also allow instructional program flexibility.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said agreement on those plans was still being worked out.

“We are continuing to work through all of the details on how to provide the best possible education when students are able to return to campuses,'' Beutner said. “To put it mildly, this is not simple, as we have to balance the need for as much in-person instruction with protecting the health and safety of all in the school community in 1,400 schools with about 650,000 students and 75,000 employees all spread across 700 square miles.''

According to UTLA, the distanced learning agreement would maintain 360-minute days for instruction for distance leaning, work flexibility for members outside of the school instructional day, a guarantee for work for substitute members, synchronous instruction requirements Tuesday through Friday and additional provisions.

“We are gratified to reach an agreement to extend the distance learning agreement, which is what our students need right now,'' UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “In the face of the upheaval we are all dealing with, educators, students and families need stability most of all, and our bargaining team worked 24-7 to meet that need.''

The event will be broadcast on www.facebook.com/UTLAnow.

Photo: Getty Images

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