March 9, 2020
Dear SPUSD Community,
The situation with Coronavirus globally and locally is ever-changing, and each day we are tasked with answering new questions that may arise. Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously and continuously work with local public health agencies to obtain the most up-to-date information for our community.
With spring break and possible family vacations approaching, families should be aware that COVID-19 is continuing to spread and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued level 3 travel warnings (avoid non-essential travel) for China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
For the safety of the South Pasadena community, SPUSD is requiring students who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning to the United States before returning to school. For any students in self-quarantine, parents may complete the Independent Study agreement and students will be placed on Independent Study for the duration of the self-quarantine.
If a student’s family member has returned from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea, the family member should follow the direction from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and self-quarantine for 14 days. The student is permitted to attend school.
We understand community concerns about student health and safety. Some families have asked about keeping a child home based on the fear of contracting COVID-19 at school. Per Education Code, we are unable to mark an absence as excused for this reason. Our normal protocol remains in place. If a student is out for an extended period of time, a doctor’s note may be required. Any absence due to quarantine or illness will be excused.
At all of our schools, we are stepping up our cleaning and sanitizing efforts in classrooms and high traffic areas and have taken the following steps:
While the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains low, we continue to work with the following agencies to gather information and guidance. This is the best, most comprehensive information regarding this virus:
In addition, here is a link to an article from the Child Mind Institute titled, “Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus”: http://bit.ly/2Iun5aS
We work throughout the year to promote healthy schools. Should a confirmed case of COVID-19 exist in South Pasadena, we will work in consultation with the expert government agencies listed above to take the necessary next steps. This situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.