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lausd

In the sprint to remake education during the pandemic, Los Angeles Unified School District armed half a million students with internet and devices to stay connected, but experts and parents said that its efforts to teach online sometimes fell short and left students behind.

Parents complained of edtech apps that were hard to hear in some cases or ones that were so cumbersome their children avoided them altogether. Some were age inappropriate, being used for elementary age students who had a hard time navigating them.

dot.LA spoke with a half a dozen parents and teachers about the district's effort to build thousands of virtual classrooms across the sprawling district.

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In the early days of the pandemic, there was a mad dash to get technology and broadband internet service into students' homes. About 1 in 3 Los Angeles Unified School District families didn't have a desktop or laptop computer or high-speed internet, according to an April 2020 study by USC Annenberg.

To improve tech access and to make other COVID-related purchases, the Board of Education granted authority to then-Superintendent Austin Beutner to spend "any dollar amount necessary" to respond to the crisis. In 13 months, the district spent $390.5 million.

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Children aged 5 to 11 may be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by the time they go trick or treating on Halloween.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday its vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective among children in that age group. The companies plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency authorization to use the vaccine in these children.

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