In-person school returns; local parents opine on experiences

| September 2, 2021 | 0 Comments


ALEXA AND BODHI Lilley of Larchmont Village attend Third Street Elementary.

After 17 months of remote or hybrid school, campuses across Los Angeles County have resumed in-person learning for the 2021 / 2022 calendar year. For many in our community, this is a welcome turn of events, but it does not come without concerns. The surge in COVID-19 cases (including breakthrough cases) spurred by the Delta variant has thrown many parents into a renewed state of caution. Here’s how a handful of locals (our neighbors) are feeling about the state of things right now:

Michelle Baron, Windsor Boulevard, parent of Fiona and Penelope who attend Larchmont Charter: “Leading up to the first day of school there was a lot of excitement in our house. For the kids, they were excited to be back on campus with friends, and quite honestly, to be seen again. Haircuts and back-to-school shopping were high on their priority lists. I was happy for them, but also felt like ‘judgment day’ was upon me. How much learning loss was there? How badly had I failed as their supplemental, at-home teacher? But now that they are back in school (exactly where they should have been all along) and back in a routine, life feels totally manageable, and I’m seeing their excitement for learning and daily socialization. It’s a relief to know our school is committed to staying open this year, and I look forward to a time that teachers and students won’t have to wear masks.”

PARENTS wait at various pick-up and drop-off points.

Laura Eichhorn, Rossmore Avenue, parent of Liam Eichhorn-Cassidy who attends Citizens of the World Charter – Hollywood: “I’m feeling excited and optimistic about the kids going back to school. CWC is well organized and ready for a safe return. Masks, distancing, testing — they’re on it. I’m most excited for my kiddo to be around other kids every day and PLAY. There is no substitute for face-to-face interactions, especially for kids who are still developing those important social skills. As for concerns, I’m worried that COVID safety precautions will put more screens in classrooms. I’m worried about the long-term effects of learning on screens versus a more tactile (paper and pencil) approach.”

Esther Lee, Brookside, parent of Faith and Aaron who attend St. Brendan’s: “We are very excited and, at the same time, unsure of how things will be due to the new variant. But since St. Brendan’s did such an awesome job last year and was so on top of it, I feel more confident going into it this fall and know my kids are in good hands. I’m excited for them to be with their classmates and to learn to be independent (on their own without a parent around them all day). There will always be concerns of the unknown. I’m just trying to stay positive while being prepared for the unexpected.”

RETRIEVAL area for students at Third Street Elementary.

Jenny Lilley, Lucerne Boulevard, parent of Bodhi and Alexa, who attend Third Street Elementary: “I feel confident that our school is doing everything it can to keep COVID at bay. It’s taking it very seriously, and I have a very positive outlook for the year ahead. I don’t see it as a ticking time bomb as some others maybe do.”

STUDENTS back at Third Street Elementary on June Street.

Sundeep Morrison, Arden Boulevard, parent of Sonia and Anand who attend Citizens of the World Charter – Hollywood: “As a parent to two children, one who is a week away from being vaccinated and one who isn’t eligible, I’m feeling hopeful but anxious. This past year was a learning curve for our family; we elected to pull our kids out of school and homeschool for the sake of everyone’s mental health. This year our kids will be returning to in-person schooling. While I know that being in a classroom and interacting with other children is beneficial for our kids, I’m still concerned about their health and safety. No protocols are failsafe. I know my kids are resilient and will adapt, but the unknowns add a level of stress to child-rearing that is astronomical. As parents, we’re mentally preparing for the worst and can only hope for the best.”

OUTSIDE Citizens of the World Charter – Hollywood is Sonia Morrison, Arden Boulevard.


Candace Nycz, Van Ness Avenue, parent of Frankie Wallender who attends Melrose Magnet: “I would have to say I am tremendously worried about the spread of Delta in classrooms, especially with 28 kids crammed into a classroom with no open windows. But the alternative is also awful, so what’s a parent to do? I will say, I am incredibly grateful that LAUSD has taken such a strong stance on mask wearing and enforcing the vaccine for all employees that go onto campus. I wish it wasn’t politicized, but we are lucky we live in such a progressive district. The baseline COVID numbers were actually better than I expected, which I hope illustrates parents’ willingness to be vaccinated, wear masks and use caution. Hopefully that trend will continue, but I am not so sure that it will. I guess we just have to send our beloved children off each day with the hopes that they don’t get COVID, and keep hoping that the under-12 vaccine comes along sooner than later. The concern and anger are exhausting, but march on we must.”

STUDENT art welcomed kindness.

Cathleen O’Conor Stern, Cherokee Avenue, parent of Charlotte and Ethan who attend St. James’: “I am very excited for my kids to return to school and get back to a routine. Summer has been fun, loose, and exhausting. St. James’ has done such a great job of mitigating risk that I am not concerned about my kids returning to school. I know we may have to adjust protocols and expectations depending on how COVID progresses, but that is just where we are right now in the pandemic. I trust the school implicitly with any twists and turns that this school year may bring for our community.”

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