Public Health

LAUSD Becomes Largest District to Shut Schools Amid the Coronavirus Panic

Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school district, today announced it would be closing its schools beginning Monday. LAUSD serves more than 730,000 students. The closures are expected to last two weeks. (Update March 23: LAUSD is closing schools at least until May 1. The district also announced a deal with Verizon to provide internet access to as many as 100,000 students who do now have connectivity at home.)

According to the district, plans are in place for students to continue learning and receiving services during the closures.

“While our school facilities will be closed, plans are in place for students to continue to learn during this time, and we will open 40 family resource centers to provide care for children if families need it,” according to information released by the district. “This is a difficult decision, but necessary, as we try to slow the spread of the virus. Los Angeles Unified serves a high-needs population, and our schools provide a social safety net for our children. The closing of any school has real consequences beyond the loss of instructional time. This is not an easy decision and not one we take lightly.”

Today students will go home with a plan for their education that will cover the period of the closure, the district indicated.

“Each student will have a plan which they will take home with them today and additional support will be provided to assist students as they transition to a different way of learning and teachers to a different way of teaching,” according to the district. “For some students it will be continuing the lesson plan and instruction they have already been working on with their classroom teacher. For others it will be engaging with the curriculum and lessons which we and PBS SoCal will be providing. And for some, it will be a combination of the two.”

Two other large districts in California have also announced closures.

Long Beach Unified School District, a neighbor of LAUSD, which serves 72,000 students, will close for five weeks starting Monday. The announcement came today. As of yet, the district did not have plans for how students would be educated during the five-week closure.

"We are exploring with our local, regional and state partners what we can do to support our students and families during this difficult time. We will be setting up ways to continue the learning process, and to provide meals for our students who rely on them. We are considering what, if any, childcare options we can extend to families during this unplanned closure," according to information released by the district today.

San Diego Unified School district, which serves some 130,000 students, also announced closures today. That district's closures are scheduled at present to last two weeks.

These closures join several others, including five statewide shutdowns announced in the last day.

Find more resources for schools during the COVID-19 crisis here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .