LA Unified sees low turnout for in-person learning

For months, parents and advocates demanded that students in the state’s largest school district be allowed to return to the classroom. But now that schools have reopened, relatively few students are showing up.

Just 7% of high school students, 12% of middle schoolers, and 30% of elementary students have returned to campus, according to new figures released by LA Unified.

The majority of kids in all grades have continued distance learning — by choice.

The numbers have taken the district by surprise. Previous parent surveys detected a higher level of interest in in-person learning and money was spent to accommodate a larger number of students than ever arrived.

One of the problems appears to be LAUSD’s extremely cautious approach. Middle and high school students are still completing most of their learning online, even while seated at a classroom desk. Many parents have dismissed the so-called “Zoom in a room” model as pointless.

Superintendent Austin Beutner thinks things will change once there is widespread vaccine availability for young children. The beginning of the full fall semester is also likely to bring a few more kids back to the classroom. Exactly how many will show up is unknown.


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