In a sign of how split local opinions are about what’s the best for children this school year, Long Beach Unified School District parents were sharply divided on whether they’ll opt out of on-campus learning even when it’s allowed under coronavirus rules.

Earlier this month, parents were required to select what type of schooling they wanted their children to receive this year in the event that the state, county and city health officials give campuses the green light to reopen. (For the time being, all campuses are closed to students through at least Oct. 5, which means all 70,000+ of the LBUSD’s students will be learning virtually after school begins on Sept. 1.)

If and when schools reopen, more than half of the city’s parents opted to sign their kids up for some form of in-person instruction, according to numbers released by the LBUSD.

  • For parents of kindergarteners, 58% chose in-person instruction, while 42% chose all-online (LBUSD kindergarten schedules are half days).
  • In elementary school (1st through 5th grade), 32% of parents chose the full day in-person option, with 26% selecting the hybrid option, which is in-person for half the day and virtual for the other half. The remaining 42% chose the all-online learning option.
  • For middle school (6th through 8th grade), 58% of parents chose the hybrid option, with 36% selecting all-online, and the remaining 6% choosing the guided independent study option.
  • For high schoolers, 67% of parents choosing the hybrid in-person/online option, and the other 33% choosing the virtual/independent study option.

School districts will not be able to reopen until the county they’re in is off the state’s COVID-19 watchlist for two weeks. This requires meeting a series of six benchmarks including things like hospital capacity and testing positivity rates.

Currently Long Beach and LA County are meeting most of the requirements, but they must bring down the number of coronavirus cases to under 100 per 100,000 residents. Currently, Long Beach has 171 cases per 100,000 residents and LA County has more than 200, according to state and local data.