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Hilary aftermath forces closure of LAUSD campuses


Superintendent conditions, scientific data

Los Angeles Unified School District campuses were closed today following the deluge of rain brought on by Tropical Storm Hilary, but classes were expected to resume as normal on Tuesday.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced Sunday afternoon the decision to close campuses, saying the district was not in a position to keep schools open when it was unable to predict whether campuses might  suffer damage overnight or if conditions would make it difficult or impossible for students and staff to reach campuses.

“Our inability to survey buildings, our inability to determine access to schools makes it nearly impossible for us to open,'' Carvalho said during a Sunday afternoon news conference.

He noted that some LAUSD students begin walking to school as early as 5:30 or 6 a.m., and some bus drivers report to work as early as 4:30 a.m., while adding that many district employees live long distances from their worksites.

On Monday morning, Carvalho again defended the decision, saying it was a choice “informed by scientific data and conditions as they are presented to us.''

He said crews were still assessing campus facilities Monday, but early reports found that about two dozen campuses had no phone or internet service, and one campus experienced a minor mudslide. He said there were also access issues affecting campuses and district facilities in the Sun Valley area.

By late morning, the phone/internet service was restored at affected campuses, according to the district.

Carvalho said schools will reopen Tuesday on normal schedules.

Multiple other school districts canceled classes for Monday, including several in the Santa Clarita Valley. Among those closing their doors Monday are Antelope Valley Union High School District, Anaheim Union High School District, William S. Hart Union High School District, Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, Saugus Union School District and Sulphur

Springs Union School District.