About one-third of LAUSD students absent this week

One-third of Los Angeles Unified students have been absent from school, on average, over the first three days of second semester.

The nation’s second-largest district, which welcomed students back to campuses on Tuesday, reported on Thursday, Jan. 13, that the average attendance rate for the first week of school was 66.8%, based on preliminary data.

While tens of thousands of students and staff members have been out because they tested positive for the coronavirus, some families may have chosen to keep their children home due to concerns about the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

L.A. Unified had 71,000 active coronavirus cases among students and staff on Wednesday, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard. As of Wednesday, its seven-day test-positivity rate was 12.7%. Countywide, the seven-day test-positivity rate is about 21%.

That LAUSD is seeing an average absentee rate of 33% is not entirely surprising. When New York City schools – the nation’s largest K-12 system – reopened on Jan. 3, about one-third of parents kept their children home that first day. At the time, the city reportedly had a seven-day test-positivity rate of about 22% — in line with what L.A. County is currently experiencing.

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On Thursday, L.A. Unified had about 2,000 employees in teaching positions out, similar to what the the district reported Tuesday. At the same time, 361 school bus routes – 99 more than Tuesday – had to be covered by other bus drivers.

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LAUSD officials say they have contingency plans to address staffing shortages, as the current surge in coronavirus cases is keeping many employees from reporting to work.

“We appreciate our families and employees for their ongoing support and patience as we continue to provide our students with high-quality educational opportunities in the safest possible environment,” the district said in a tweet.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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