Students in Los Angeles Unified School District were allowed to attend class without masks for the first time in more than a year on Wednesday, following staff and administrators in the second-largest US school district. Arrived a long time ago Deal on this issue last week.
Masks are still strongly encouraged in classrooms, and students and staff will continue to be tested for coronavirus weekly until the end of the school year. According to the agreement. but raised One of the last states of the large school district mask In the country it was another sign that leaders were trying to steer Americans back to some sense of normalcy.
“Now that this important issue is behind us, it is time to focus on each student’s full academic potential,” said the new district administrator, Alberto Carvalho, in a statement.
California schools have closed for longer than in many other states — which Governor Gavin Newsom and other state leaders credited with saving lives, but which frustrated some parents and helped fuel a failed effort to remove the governor from office last year.
Throughout the pandemic, Los Angeles public schools have operated under particularly strict safety protocols negotiated by the area’s large and powerful teachers’ union.
However, with case numbers declining and restrictions being lifted rapidly across the United States, officials in California and Los Angeles have cleared their restrictions in recent weeks. The statewide school mask mandate was lifted on March 11, although individual districts may choose to keep their rules in place for longer. In San Francisco, masks will no longer be required in all schools starting April 2.
On a sweltering Wednesday across the Los Angeles area, which covers more than 700 square miles, students, parents and teachers said the normal now includes masks — not just all the time, not everyone.
“I’ll probably plan to keep me at work as long as it’s highly recommended indoors,” said Jennifer McAfee, an eighth-grade English teacher at Dodson Middle School in Rancho Palos Verdes. “As a teacher, I feel like I’ve gotten used to it, and as much as I’ve been able to read facial expressions, I’ve had to get better at looking people in the eyes.”
Ms. McAfee, chatting during the short lunch break, said that all but one of her students so far that day were masked.
Veronica Sasso, principal of Franklin Avenue Elementary School in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, smiled as she walked through the halls just before her class.
“It’s a good idea to slowly but surely start establishing post-pandemic measures,” she said.
For now, she said, she enjoyed seeing the “bright smiles” of the children.
Shana Vasquez had a lime green KN95 mask on her wrist as she stood in the park outside the nearly century-old school watching her 6-year-old daughter Stella race back and forth with her classmates—some still wearing masks, some the other does not. The mask was Stella.
“I forgot mine – I stopped wearing it this week,” said Ms. Vazquez.
She said her family has been vigilant throughout the pandemic, wearing masks and staying home mostly, but now that conditions are safer they are ready to “get back to normal” – or at least find a way to live with the virus. Although Ms Vasquez said she would likely still bring a mask to the mall or other crowded indoor places, she wanted her newborn son to be able to recognize her face, because he didn’t see him wearing a mask. She wants Stella to be able to play comfortably in the heat.
“You took off your mask in class?” asked Stella, who took a break from her game. Stella nodded.
“I don’t like the mask,” said the girl.