About one-third of Los Angeles Unified students — approximately 130,000 — have been absent from school during the first days back from winter break, ushering in another chapter of pandemic disruption in the nation’s second-largest school system.
In addition, teachers and employee absences have remained high, so office administrators and substitute teachers have had to staff classrooms. All schools have remained open for in-person learning this week. Incoming Supt. Alberto Carvalho said Friday that the district will continue to send a message to parents that Los Angeles schools are safe.
“They are safe places because of the protective measures that are in place here,” said Carvalho, during an event held to welcome him at Elysian Heights Elementary Arts Magnet in Echo Park. “Parents need to understand that, they need to bring kids to school.”
About half of the student absences are accounted for by those who tested positive for the coronavirus in the week before the start of the term. Others may have tested positive or had symptoms but the information was not uploaded to the district’s health-screening system. There was no estimate regarding how many families are choosing to keep students home out of caution as case numbers remain at record rates due to the Omicron variant.