By Superintendent Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.
Every week during the pandemic, we have faced new challenges and developed solutions, and this week is no exception. Changes in COVID-19 case rates and State and County guidelines led us to schedule a special board meeting on March 4. During this meeting, we further discussed provisional reopening dates for SPMS and SPHS.
Special Board Meeting Update
Thursday night, the Board voted to reopen SPMS on April 8, 2021 and SPHS on April 15, 2021 for in-person hybrid learning.
The physical space at the secondary schools is being prepared to welcome back students. Administrators are diligently working towards ensuring that all the safety measures are in place. Multiple face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, gloves, cleaning supplies, plexiglas dividers, and classroom air purifiers have been distributed to classrooms to complement the level 13, hospital grade filters in the schools’ ventilation systems.
SPUSD purchased 25,000 KN95 masks and distributed them to the school sites for employee use. Directional arrows have been painted on surfaces and in addition to their regular cleaning schedules, our custodial staff are preparing the classrooms for students. Teams of middle school and high school students are producing videos about the safety protocols at each school. These are just some of the preparations that have been made for the reopening of secondary schools.
Secondary administrators continue to work with the school staff on revisions to the hybrid instructional model that was Board approved last July. Keeping the safety and health of students and employees at the forefront, instructional teams are finalizing detailed plans and schedules that safely maximize in-person learning. You will be notified about schedules once they are finalized.
Elementary School Updates
Building on a successful reopening of in-person learning for students in grades preschool through second, third through fifth graders will be returning on March 11 (grade three) and March 15 (grades four and five). Principals have reported that “teamwork makes the dream work” and everyone from students to parents to staff to teachers has helped make the reopening process successful. With more students on campus, everyone must continue to be extra diligent in following the safety protocols.
Everyone is experiencing substantial changes to routines and scheduling. Please remember to practice grace and patience with one another. Our teachers work hard to ensure that students are receiving a high-quality education including opportunities for positive social-emotional experiences. There may be bumps in the road, and this is the time for all of us to work together without judgement, keeping in mind the guiding principles of SPUSD. For anyone who needs extra support, please remember that Care Solace is available 24/7 to all students, staff and their families. Information may be found online at the SPUSD website.
At this time, guidance for non-essential travel outside of Los Angeles County has not changed. LACDPH requires anyone who arrives from out of state to self-quarantine for 10 days upon return to Los Angeles County. The self-quarantine is recommended for everyone, including people who have been vaccinated. For more information, visit the LACDPH website.
SPUSD Vaccination Clinic
On March 5 and 6, ALL SPUSD employees will have the opportunity to be vaccinated through our partnership with Keck Medicine of USC. Second doses will be administered by Keck Medicine before Spring Break. Thank you again to Keck Medicine of USC for all their work in offering this opportunity to SPUSD employees.
As you can see, our environment is changing by the minute. We pledge to keep you regularly updated and informed about our progress. Thank you all for your continued support. It is absolutely wonderful to see and hear students on campuses again.