The Long Beach Unified School District is one of five California school districts featured in a new report on “Reopening Schools Safely in California: District Examples of Multilayered Mitigation.” The report was released this week by the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the institute seeks to advance evidence-based policies that support equitable learning for every child.
“As districts in California have opened for the 2021–22 school year, they have faced the challenging task of keeping students learning safely in person in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which intensified right before schools opened with the spread of the Delta variant of the virus,” states the report, which compiled information on “approaches to keeping schools open and students, staff, and their families safe.” Those approaches include masking, vaccination, testing, contact tracing, quarantining, handwashing and ventilation.
“Each of these districts provide important models and key lessons for safe school reopening,” the policy brief states. “As their work demonstrates, schools implementing multilayered mitigation strategies can stay open safely, minimize further disruptions to learning, and ensure that students can get back to the business of focusing on their learning and reconnecting to their school communities.”
The Learning Policy Institute is led by President and CEO Linda Darling-Hammond, a renowned education researcher and Stanford University education professor who also serves as President of the California State Board of Education. LPI also has recognized LBUSD among school districts that are “beating the odds,” with students here performing better than students of similar racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in most other districts.
The latest policy brief also reviewed independent study options during school reopenings, communication with families, and how districts are attending to students’ social, emotional and mental health.