Tyrone Howard: Back-to-School Safety Topmost Concern of Parents

Director of UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools commends LAUSD decision to remain online this fall.

Tyrone Howard, faculty director of the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools and the director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for the Strengthening Children and Families, was interviewed by KABC recently on the decision by the Los Angeles Unified School District to continue with remote learning in the coming school year. 

Professor Howard commended the LAUSD decision, saying that students’ safety is the number one concern among parents. 

“The reality is this: we know that lots of schools don’t have full-time nurses,” he said. “We know children, as much as we teach about social distancing, they’re going to touch, they’re going to be in close proximity to each other. They’re going to cough, they’re going to sneeze. And I just don’t think the optics would ever look good for any school to have to explain how a child has gotten sick, or God forbid, if something happens more seriously than that.”

Howard said that while schools may be better prepared for remote instruction after adapting so  abruptly to it last spring, educators must pay attention and garner support in serving their most underserved students.

“I think we’re going to have to continue to support our teachers so that they can improve the quality of online instruction, making sure that they are reaching out to our most vulnerable populations,” he said. “We know that students who are oftentimes in foster care, students who are experiencing homelessness, may not have as much access to teachers as they might ordinarily have. So, I think it’s going to be incumbent for those educators to reach out to all students but especially those who have a difficult time connecting and really trying to make sure that the kind of individualized instruction can be given to those students who are in greater need.” 

For the full interview on KABC, visit this link.