COVID is “Here to Stay” – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The future superintendent of Los Angeles
The Unified School District warns that COVID-19 will continue to present itself
challenges for the district and students in the foreseeable future, and the country’s second largest school district will have to adapt quickly
changing conditions.

“I’m one who believes in science, and we recognize that COVID-19 is probably here to stay,” Alberto Carvalho said Friday during a visit to the Elysian Heights Elementary Arts Magnet School.

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Alberto Carvalho, the new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is holding a press conference at the Elysian Heights Elementary School. January 14, 2021. (CBSLA)

Carvalho is not scheduled to take over as superintendent until March, but visited on Friday to get a first-hand insight into how the district is doing during the first week of training amid a county-wide increase in COVID-19 infections.

LAUSD officials imposed COVID testing on all students and staff before they were allowed to return to campuses this week. According to figures released by the district on Thursday, 13.3% of district employees tested positive for the virus prior to school startup, and 15.6% of students.

District officials have proclaimed that the overall rates are lower than the county as a whole, where the current positivity rate is around 20%.

But the positive tests have an impact on student attendance.

During the first days of teaching, the preliminary attendance figures show one
about 33.2% absenteeism among students, according to the district.

The virus has also led to some staffing problems, especially among bus drivers.

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According to the district, 361 bus routes this week were to be covered by supervisors, instructors and other drivers.

About 2,000 teaching places were covered by certified temps, according to the district.

Carvalho said he supports the measures the district has implemented so far to cope with the pandemic, but acknowledges that more work needs to be done to ensure students do not fall further behind.

“We recognize that students were already in a fragile state – academically, socially and emotionally, socio-economically in terms of language skills, students with disabilities
lost a lot of ground, ”he said.

Carvalho said the district will need to be “fresh” to respond to the ever-changing conditions that the pandemic presents.

But overall, Carvalho said he enjoyed his first formal visit to a district campus, even though he has not officially begun his new job.

“I’m so glad I was able to connect with it the very first day
students, which is why I’m here, ”he said.

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Carvalho has been superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public
Schools since 2008.

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