COVID-19 Update and School Reopenings | Superintendent Geoff Yantz

For the next few weeks, SPUSD will continue to prepare to welcome teachers and our youngest students back to in-person learning

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz; South Pasadena Board of Education

Dear SPUSD Families,

We hope you and your families had a relaxing and safe Winter Break and are looking forward to a successful spring semester.

Last night during the Special Board Meeting, the SPUSD Board of Education approved school reopening dates for our youngest students. The provisional dates for reopening are February 8, 2021 for students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten and special education students in preschool through second grade and February 16, 2021 for students in first and second grades.

If you have not done so already, we encourage you to listen to Monday night’s meeting. We were fortunate to hear from two UCLA doctors who work closely with COVID-19 and specifically reviewed research related to COVID-19 transmission in schools. The information they provided was thorough, thoughtful, and helpful as we plan for in-person instruction.

It’s also important to be aware of Governor Newsom’s proposed California Safe Schools for All Plan. Newsom stated the proposal was prompted by research suggesting that with proper mitigation efforts, a safe return to school is possible. Here are links to three documents that explain this plan:

Summary: CA Safe Schools for All Plan

Evidence Summary: TK-6 Schools and COVID-19 Transmission

Rationale: CA’s Safe Schools for All Plan

Once we have more information about the Governor’s proposal and the legislative process is complete, we will share details about the implications of this proposal for SPUSD.

For the next few weeks, SPUSD will continue to prepare to welcome teachers and our youngest students back to in-person learning. LACDPH will be visiting this week to ensure all protocols are in place, and each elementary school will be preparing instructional safety videos, organizing students into AM/PM groups, and hosting parent meetings to discuss common questions about the return to school. At this time, LACDPH has not provided a reopening timeline for students in grades 3-12, but when we receive additional information, we will share it with you.

For families with students in the Extended Day Program, we will be in direct contact soon with updates on the program status and possible local care alternatives, as needed. For families with high school student athletes, training and conditioning has been suspended until at least January 19, 2021 due to Los Angeles County’s extended stay-at-home order.

We also recognize the stress and anxiety that the rise in COVID-19 cases may be causing for our students and families. Our counselors, teachers, administrators, and staff are here for support. SPUSD also offers Care Solace, a complimentary and confidential service to help you quickly find available therapists or substance use treatment programs matched to your needs regardless of circumstances or insurance coverage. For more information call 888-515-0595, visit the Care Solace website or email weserve@caresolace.org.

Thank you for your patience as we work to return students and teachers safely to campus. We will continue to keep you updated in these very unpredictable and uncertain times. Remember to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible by washing your hands, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and refraining from traveling or gathering outside your household.

Sincerely,

Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.

Superintendent