Long Beach Unified campuses to stay closed through January

The Long Beach Unified School District announced today that it will stick with online classes at least through Jan 28 as the state continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

The LBUSD, which started the school year on Sept. 1, had previously said it would be teach classes solely online through Oct. 5, but Superintendent Jill Baker announced the latest extension on Thursday afternoon.

“One of the hardest things about navigating through this pandemic is that we cannot see its end,” she said. “The never ending feeling is hard on all of us as we try to make decisions in the best interest of our students, while protecting everyone’s health and safety.”

Baker said that while the health data in Long Beach has stabilized, they “still present significant challenges to returning students to in-person learning, thus our decision to extend distance learning based on consultation with health officials.”

It’s not yet clear how the announcement will affect students with special needs, whom state and local health officials recently said could return to campuses in small groups as long as the district follows strict health rules.

The LBUSD said yesterday it’s yet to make a decision on that front.

“We’re reviewing the latest guidance carefully and will confer with Long Beach Health and Human Services, and we’ll keep you posted if we intend to provide in-person instruction at some point,” LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou told the Post Wednesday.

Staff writer Valerie Osier contributed to this report.

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