LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Unified School District campuses were closed Monday following the deluge of rain brought on by Tropical Storm Hilary, but classes will resume as normal on Tuesday.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced Sunday afternoon the decision to close campuses, saying the district was not in a position to keep schools open when it was unable to predict whether campuses might suffer damage overnight or if conditions would make it difficult or impossible for students and staff to reach campuses.
"Our inability to survey buildings, our inability to determine access to schools makes it nearly impossible for us to open," Carvalho said during a Sunday afternoon news conference.
He noted that some LAUSD students begin walking to school as early as 5:30 or 6 a.m., and some bus drivers report to work as early as 4:30 a.m., while adding that many district employees live long distances from their worksites.
On Monday morning, Carvalho again defended the decision, saying it was a choice "informed by scientific data and conditions as they are presented to us."
He said crews assessed campuses Monday, finding about two dozen that had no phone or internet service, and one that experienced a minor mudslide. He said there were also access issues affecting campuses and district facilities in the Sun Valley area.
By late morning, the phone/internet service was restored at affected campuses, and other cleanup work was progressing, according to the district.
Carvalho said schools will reopen Tuesday on normal schedules.
The vast majority of independent charter schools in the LAUSD area were also closed Monday, with a few exceptions.
The district opened 13 grab-and-go food distribution sites on Monday, providing students and families with three meals during the school closures.
Multiple other school districts canceled classes for Monday, including several in the Santa Clarita Valley. Among those closing their doors Monday were Antelope Valley Union High School District, Anaheim Union High School District, William S. Hart Union High School District, Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, Saugus Union School District and Sulphur Springs Union School District.
In Orange County, Monday classes were canceled in the Anaheim Union High School District and Anaheim Elementary School District. Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana was also closed.
Cal State Fullerton canceled in-person classes for Monday, but online classes met as usual. Cal State Long Beach moved to virtual operations Monday, with in-person classes beginning as scheduled Tuesday.