In a recent story on school reopenings nationwide, the New York Times noted that the Long Beach Unified School District was the largest district in California to begin offering in-person instruction to elementary students.
LBUSD began allowing about 14,000 elementary students back into school buildings five days a week on March 29, with secondary grades scheduled to resume in-person learning in April.
Long Beach was able to open earlier than other large California school systems in part because the city was able to start vaccinating teachers earlier than other districts in the state, the Times reported. LBUSD partnered with Long Beach Health and Human Services to provide vaccination appointments for school district employees in prioritized sequence, starting with the early grades and progressing to secondary schools, eventually offering vaccinations to all employees who wanted them.
“A city with its own health department has the ability to be more nimble,” LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker told the Times, calling the return to classrooms “exciting and momentous.”