Public Schools throughout California, including those in South Pasadena, will remain closed through the academic year as a result of the novel coronavirus crisis and will now shift to a virtual learning environment.
In a letter to families in the South Pasadena Unified School District, Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz wrote that campuses will stay physically closed for the remainder of the school year.
Putting safety as the district’s No. 1 priority, Yantz noted, “Our decision aligns with the recent recommendation from the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools and state officials.
Yantz stressed that that “the 2019-2020 school year is not over.”
Local schools are transitioning from classroom instruction to the Independent Study Distance Learning Program (ISDLP), beginning on April 6.
The superintendent said the program will continue for students through the end of the scheduled school year, June 3.
“As we embark on this journey together, please know that we are committed to maintaining a quality learning environment,” Yantz wrote. “As we move through these changes, we will be strengthening our online learning programs and opportunities for all students.”
He encouraged students “to approach this new program with patience and understanding as we all transition into a new way of teaching and learning to meet the health and safety impacts of COVID-19. We understand that families and educators have experienced a significant disruption to their lives that has uniquely impacted each of us.”
In his letter, Yantz recognized SPUSD staff for stepping up and working cohesively over the past two weeks. “Thank you to our technology team, office staff, maintenance and custodial staff, teachers, school and district administrators, instructional services staff, and food service staff who have been at the forefront of these changes,” he wrote. “Our extended day program staff also have stepped up to support our food services department. A special thank you goes out to our Board of Education members who continuously engage and offer an intelligent and supportive approach in this time of uncertainty.
He wrote that many others within the district are working long hours behind the scenes to distance learning a a reality for South Pasadena students. “Everyone is doing their best during this challenging time,” Yantz wrote. “I am very proud of the work ethic and commitment our school community continues to embody. Thank you to parents who have offered and will be stepping in to volunteer as needed.”
He looks forward to kicking off a new chapter of learning for the SPUSD on Monday, while passing along the message: “Make sure to stay safe and committed to social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.”