Dear SPUSD Families,
If you have not already done so, I highly encourage watching Tuesday night’s SPUSD Board Meeting. The meeting began with an insightful and informative presentation about COVID-19 research and case rates by Dr. Christina Ghaly, the Director of the Health Services Department for Los Angeles County and South Pasadena mother of four. We are so fortunate that Dr. Ghaly took the time to share her expertise and thank her for her commitment to our District and community. Here is a link (http://spusd.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2) to the webcast of the meeting. You may scroll down to the title of the presentation to link to it directly.
SPUSD Reopening Plan – Phase 1
During the meeting, the School Board approved the physical reopening of schools for in-person learning in preschool through second grades (general education and special education) on Thursday, February 18, 2021, pending that the county’s adjusted case rates falls below 25 cases per 100,000 population or by other means as permitted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Students returning to school will be following the hybrid instructional model.
The Board’s action solidifies that schools will reopen for in-person learning on Thursday, February 18, 2021. Thursday was selected as the return-to-school date to welcome students as soon as safely possible while also providing an opportunity for procedures to be tested and evaluated, modified as needed, and implemented in advance of the first full week of school.
We are so eager to welcome our youngest learners back to the classroom! We want to reassure you that we are well-prepared, that we are following a conservative approach to reopening, and that we are following the guidance of the health experts at the federal, state, and county levels recommended to keep our employees and students safe.
Faculty and staff continue to prepare for the first day back in the classroom. Principals will be in touch with families who are returning with details about asynchronous time to allow for teacher planning, AM/PM class assignments, and safety protocols that must be followed. Please be patient with all teachers and staff as they are making significant changes and are doing their best to ensure that students feel welcome.
In the coming weeks, the Board will continue discussions and planning for the second phase of reopening, which includes grades three through five.
Also, note that with the recent lift of the regional stay-at-home order, activities at the middle school and high school will resume and continue to be added. For example, high school student athletes have returned to in-person conditioning and training, and designated sports will soon be able to compete against other schools. This week, the middle school Boosters program successfully welcomed groups of students for after school intramural sports. SPMS has also formed three groups (one per grade level) for identified students to receive additional on campus support. An after school drama program at the middle school is also beginning and ASB is meeting weekly. All health and safety protocols for each activity are strictly followed and enforced.
SPUSD has hired two Licensed Vocational Nurses, Becky Stephens Yesenia Velazques, who will be assisting District Nurse Abby Silver and the health clerks at the three elementary schools. Our healthcare team is ready to support employees, students, and families during the reopening process and throughout the remainder of the school year.
Since the return from Winter Break, we have seen a rise in students experiencing increased isolationism, depression and detachment regardless of their academic progress. Care Solace can help you find mental health or substance use providers or programs matched to your needs regardless of circumstances. Care Solace’s service is free to SPUSD students, staff and their families. The team is available 24/7 and can support you in any language. If you or someone you know would like to use Care Solace to help find a provider:
- Call 888-515-0595, 24/7
- Visit Care Solace online and either search on your own, OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: your name and contact information (cell phone number); your preferred language; a good time for Care Solace to contact you
We encourage all families to continue following all COVID-19 safety protocols to help ensure that our students and staff remain healthy and safe. It will take all of us working together to succeed. We are so excited to welcome our preschool through second grade students on February 18, 2021!
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.