Lynwood – Helen Keller and Washington elementary school staff greeted more than 60 total K-2 students at the front entrance on March 22, a day when even face coverings could not mask the excitement of Lynwood Unified School District reopening its doors for in-person instruction.
The District welcomed back students on a limited basis, beginning with grades K-2 for just two schools, but will continue with a staggered restart of all elementary grades on April 15 following Spring Break.
Helen Keller kindergartner Aiden Mota bounced past the “Welcome Back” signs and balloons and the safety reminder posters before cleansing his hands with sanitizer and following taped arrows that led him and a staff member to his classroom.
“He can’t wait to get to his class and begin learning with other kids,” said Marina Enriquez, Aiden’s mom, who added that she knows custodial staff members within Lynwood Unified and felt comfortable with the preparations being made to return children.
“Our kids have to come back sooner or later and get used to the new system. It was time to come back.”
Lynwood Unified students and staff have been braving the challenges of distance learning for more than a year since the District was forced to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students returned to revamped campuses designed to safely reunite them while restoring in-person instruction. The updates include MERV Air Filter systems, hand washing stations, water bottle stations, and COVID-19 classroom kits that feature hand sanitizer, masks, shields, gloves, thermometers, and disinfectant.
Each child’s temperature was taken once they arrived to campus where they received a tour and orientation that outlined the safety guidelines. Each classroom desk is set up with sneeze guards and spaced six feet apart.
“Today is a day we have been looking forward to for some time while preparing campuses for a safe reopen,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite. “It was a proud moment to watch our children reenter campuses,
and to know our sites are equipped with the technology and upgrades for a healthy learning environment.”
The District’s instruction will follow a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction with virtual learning. While on campus, students receive enrichment, socioemotional learning, and physical activity with Lynwood Unified partner, Think Together.
District families have the option to continue full-time distance learning should they prefer not to return to campus.
Lynwood Unified continues to substantially increase its number of COVID-19 vaccinated staff members through a partnership with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center that has created a vaccination site at Firebaugh High School where both staff and community members are served.
“We are making strides in creating a new environment that our parents can trust and our children can thrive in,” LUSD Board President Maria G. Lopez said. “I look forward to bringing more children back to schools and showcasing revitalized programs that will safeguard health and safety.”
032321_LUSD_REOPEN1: A Washington Elementary School family awaits entrance into the school on March 22 when Lynwood Unified reopened grades K-2 in two of its schools. The District will continue with a staggered restart of all elementary school grades.
032321_LUSD_REOPEN2: A Helen Keller Elementary School student takes a seat at her desk on March 22 as K-2 students at the school returned to campus for in-person instruction.