Los Angeles

Nearly 50,000 LAUSD students reported absent on first day of new school year

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Unified School District kicked off the new school year with nearly 50,000 students reported absent on the first day of class.

On Monday, 11% of LAUSD students were no-shows.

Classes resumed amid relaxed COVID-19 protocols that made for a smoother entrance to campuses than last year, which saw long lines of students trying to meet testing and health protocols.

The start of school marked Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s first opening day as head of the LAUSD, and he visited a series of campuses and other district facilities to welcome back students and staff.

Carvalho will continue to visit classrooms to celebrate the first week of instruction.

On Tuesday afternoon, Carvalho is expected to make stops at Grand View Boulevard Elementary School in Mar Vista and Brockton Avenue Elementary School on L.A.’s Westside.

The district this year dropped its requirement for students and staff to undergo weekly COVID testing, although all students and staffers received at-home test kits to use prior to returning to classes. Carvalho said the tests will be distributed again next week, just to ensure there are not noticeable changes in virus conditions.

Mask-wearing will still be only strongly recommended indoors, and the district’s COVID vaccination requirement for students remains on hold until at least next year.

Carvalho, who took over his post in February after 14 years as superintendent of the Miami-Dade County public schools system, vowed in his address last week to enact quick change — while conceding that issues of declining enrollment and difficult financial times are on the horizon.

“I know this is going to be a difficult year,” Carvalho said. “It has been several difficult years. But it will be especially challenging to right the course of an altered future while confronting the obstacles before us. I know you will correct the trajectory and then some.”

City News Service contributed to this report.

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