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Introducing 8 to 3, a newsletter for parents about kids, school and education

A girl uses a laptop computer.
Nine-year-old Priscilla Guerrero uses a laptop computer for her fourth-grade Los Angeles Unified School District online class in her room as mom Sofia Quezada assists her and her 13-year-old sister Paulette Guerrero during remote learning at home in Boyle Heights last September.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A new chapter is opening for families of school-age children and teenagers. Campuses throughout California are finally opening after a year of coronavirus-forced closures — and for parents who have navigated distance learning alongside their children, their connection to education has been rewired.

The shared frustrations, struggles, empathy and resilience between parent and child has reshaped engagement in schooling. With a new newsletter called 8 to 3, The Times aims to be a part of the back-in-school life of parents and guardians as we recover from a year like no other and move forward.

We begin this endeavor painfully aware of how the pandemic has upended education and exposed the depth of inequities families face. Our foremost mission is to help navigate new challenges with powerful storytelling, useful guides, vital data and personal stories — whether on campus in a classroom or in front of a laptop in the living room. The Times’ coverage of COVID-19-era schooling places considerable attention on systemic inequities, which we will continue to explore in depth.

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The newsletter, sent every Monday evening, is written by Sonja Sharp and edited by Mitchell Landsberg, with support from Education Editor Stephanie Chavez and education reporters Nina Agrawal, Howard Blume, Paloma Esquivel, Melissa Gomez, Laura Newberry and Teresa Watanabe.

A veteran journalist, Sharp joined the education team during the pandemic to cover the crisis in early childhood education and day care. She will draw on her experience as a reporter, the mother of a 5-year-old and a kindergarten-through-UC-Berkeley graduate of California public schools to help readers navigate everything from daily struggles of parenting school-age children to coping with thorny policy issues.

Prep Rally delivers hot teams, highlights and answers to readers’ questions — the most thorough, dialed-in high school sports coverage in California.

The name of the newsletter refers to the traditional school day — but we know that education never really stops, and that parents, above all, are their children’s primary teachers. We are ready to answer your questions, aiming to give you insight into both emerging and ongoing issues while offering a forum for dialogue. And we will also point readers to the best stories in California education, both our own and those from other publications.

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Schooling these days is already overwhelming, but we are here to help. We hope you will add 8 to 3 to your reading list. Sign up here or on our newsletters page.


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