School will start Wednesday, Sept. 4 for about 80,000 students in the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), which has provided the following information about the new academic year.
Some schools have adjusted their morning start times due to the Board of Education’s approval last March of revised school schedules for 2013-14. School schedule information has been communicated to parents, who may contact their local school if they have questions. School offices will reopen Tuesday, Aug. 27. Individual school websites will provide additional back-to-school information. Those school websites may be accessed by finding individual schools in the A-Z index or in the School Finder drop-down menus at lbschools.net.
Registration and immunizations
Last-minute pre-registration for students new to the LBUSD began Aug. 20 for high schools and will begin Tuesday, Aug. 27 for middle and elementary schools. Pre-registration of students new to the school district is done on a first-come, first-served basis at each school. If classes fill up at a neighborhood school, parents will be advised of the options available for their children to attend other schools in the district, according to LBUSD.
To be eligible to enroll in kindergarten, children must be 5 years old by Oct. 1, according to state law. The school district has some openings in its transitional kindergarten program, which provides extra support for the youngest kindergartners who will turn 5 between Oct. 2 and Dec. 2. Transitional kindergarten classes are a response to state legislation bumping the Dec. 2 requirement for 5-year-olds back to Sept. 1 (over the course of three years starting in 2012-13 with full implementation by 2014-15).
As part of the legislation, once the age requirement completely changes, students whose 5th birthday is between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 will be required to take one year of transitional kindergarten followed by one year of standard kindergarten. The school district has implemented its transitional kindergarten early thanks to grant funding from the Packard Foundation. Those interested may call (562) 997-8247.
For all other registration, each school provides a registration packet with the required forms. A birth certificate, immunization record and two proof-of-residency documents (such as a current utility bill, rental agreement, rent receipts, paycheck stub with name and address) are required. Schools can provide assistance in obtaining a birth certificate if it has been lost.
Low-cost immunizations are available from the Long Beach Health Department. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (562) 570-4221.
Free and reduced-price meals
According to the LBUSD, its meal program is ranked among the best nationally for serving healthful lunches.
Under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, family size and income are used to determine eligibility. Children from families whose income is at or below certain levels are eligible. Children who receive CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS), Kinship Guardian Assistance Payments (KinGAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Foster children residing with families are now considered as part of the family with which they reside. A separate application for each foster child is no longer needed.
Free and reduced-price meal applications are mailed directly home via U.S. Mail. Only one application per household is required to participate in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. For households that do not receive one in the mail, applications are also available at Nutrition Services, which can be reached at (562) 427-7923. Applications will be available at schools during registration. Completed applications may be returned to any school site during registration or to the Nutrition Services office. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. At the beginning of the school year, approved applications from the prior year are valid for a maximum 30 operating days or until a new application is processed.
A PIN, or a meal card with a corresponding bar-code for scanning purposes, is required for all students to be served a reimbursable meal. Students not qualifying for free or reduced-price meals must pay for their meals. A pre-payment option, using their PINs or meal cards, is available to all paid students. Parents now have the opportunity to pre-pay for student meals and/or monitor their students’ cafeteria accounts online at the Payment Center with MySchoolBucks. The Nutrition Services web page has more details.
More information is included in the meal information packet mailed to households. At the elementary level, paid students who do not have money for their meal will be given a meal and have the meal charged to their pre-pay account. This service will be discontinued once a negative balance of $10 is reached. Notification outlining the repayment process will be sent to each student’s parent or guardian.
To find out what is planned for lunch in the school cafeteria, parents may call the Lunch Line at (562) 427-7923, ext. 400 on any school day before 11:30am or after 2:30pm or visit the Nutrition Services menu web page. Parents of students with special dietary needs may contact a child nutrition specialist in Nutrition Services at (562) 427-7923.
Bus stops and routes
Parents who have already registered their children should receive a letter containing information about transportation. Anyone who is unsure of their child’s bus stop should contact the school where their child will be attending. If bus service has been discontinued at a particular school, notice should have already been sent to parents from that school.
Students are subject to school rules while riding public transportation to and from school.
For more back-to-school information, contact the following offices: for elementary schools (includes K-8 schools), call (562) 997-8247; and for secondary schools (includes middle and high schools), call (562) 997-8115.