Beach cities school districts delay going back to campus until February – Daily Breeze | #specialneeds | #kids

Some South Bay school districts are pushing younger students’ return campuses to next month.

Both the Manhattan Beach Unified and Hermosa City school districts will postpone the return to campuses of students in transitional kindergarten through second grade until February after Los Angeles County health officials urged in-person instruction be put on hold until Feb. 1 amid a devastating coronavirus surge.

Both districts had planned to bring students back to campus this week, allowing students and staff who had traveled over the holidays 10 days to quarantine, per the county Public Health Department’s for anyone travelling outside of Southern California to stay isolated for at least that long.

Instead, Hermosa Beach’s second graders will be on campus Wednesday, Feb. 3, first graders on Feb. 4 and kindergarteners on Feb. 5, according to a Friday, Jan. 8 announcement from Superintendent Jason Johnson.

Manhattan Beach Unified’s youngest elementary students and those with special needs of all grades were supposed to return to hybrid instruction Wednesday Jan. 13, but instead will remain online only, Superintendent Mike Matthews wrote in a Sunday, Jan. 10 announcement.

Both districts announced the delay after the Department of Public Health sent a memo on Friday recommending all schools in the county suspend in-person instruction, services and activities until February due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles County has become the nation’s coronavirus epicenter.

And school districts themselves have seen cases hit their communities.

There are now 34 known cases in the Manhattan Beach school district since special needs students started returning to campus in September, Matthews wrote.

“That’s a big number,” he said, “and it reflects the number of cases in our community.”

The Manhattan Beach school board will discuss on Wednesday whether to maintain virtual instruction until February. The district’s preschool and extended childcare programs will remain in-person.

The move may set MBUSD back a bit, since they had planned to possibly start morning/afternoon class schedules Feb. 1, a shift from students being on campus mornings only under the current hybrid model.

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