LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The union which represents thousands of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District has reached a deal with the district to allow its teachers to voluntarily provide in-person tutoring.

United Teachers Los Angeles reported Friday that it reached a deal with LAUSD under which teachers can offer paid in-person tutoring, student assessments and “targeted adult education classes,” according to a letter it sent out to its members.

UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said such programs “require some level of in-person work.”

“We are gratified that we could reach an agreement that supports our most vulnerable students and follows best practices to uphold the health and safety of our school communities,” Myart-Cruz said in a letter to members.

Teacher participation in such programs will be voluntary, and instructors will be permitted to refuse to take part or withdraw from participation “without reprisal.” The agreement will require those involved to follow coronavirus health protocols. All students and teachers involved will have to undergo COVID-19 testing prior to beginning instruction.

“Let’s be crystal clear,” Myart-Cruz said. “This does not mean we are advocating for a return to physical campuses in the near future. There is no date to reopen. We are beginning discussions with the district so that when science tells us that’s it is safe to return, we will be ready to do so.

All schools in L.A. County are in a virtual teaching mode. However, earlier, this week, L.A. County public health officials announced that schools can begin applying for waivers to allow pre-K through second grades to return to in-person instruction.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner reiterated last week that LAUSD students would not return to in-person classes until Nov. 1 at the very earliest.

Beutner also disclosed that Microsoft is building a mobile and desktop app which students, employees and visitors will be able to use to come onto campus every day. The app will be available in early October. The app will include a daily symptom self-check form. If there are any caution signs or indications of the virus, the individual can be immediately connected to health professionals.

This is all part of an ambitious $150 million coronavirus program to test all teachers and students in the district.

LAUSD has close to 700,000 students and nearly 75,000 teachers and employees working across 1,386 schools.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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