July 17, 2020
Dear SPUSD Community,
Last night, during the SPUSD Special Board Meeting, the school board approved an instructional model for the 2020-2021 academic year and provided direction for schools to be physically closed and for all students to begin the year in distance learning. Today, Governor Newsom also announced that schools within counties on California’s monitoring list must begin the school year distance learning and must remain in distance learning until the county is off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Los Angeles County has been on this monitoring list since the State began monitoring counties in this way. We all would like students to be back in school as soon as possible, but school districts must play a pivotal role in preserving the health and safety of our community.
What is the Approved Instructional Model?
The approved instructional model includes a choice for either hybrid instruction or full-time distance learning. All five SPUSD schools will offer online parent/guardian meetings soon to discuss the differences between the two choices and expectations for various grade levels so that families may select the schedule - either hybrid or full-time distance learning - that best meets their child's needs regardless of the fact that schools will be physically closed. We will be in touch again soon with more information on how to select an option. Follow these links for more details about the instructional model for both elementary and secondary students.
How Will Students Start the School Year?
The school board advised the District to physically close schools in light of the recent guidance issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and due to an upward trend in the number of coronavirus cases.
This summer, SPUSD has spent countless hours reviewing instructional alternatives and collecting feedback from stakeholders about several different models. State legislation SB 98 said that public school districts “shall offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible” unless the state public health officer or a local public health officer provides an order or guidance to school districts to physically close.
At this time, county offices also are directing districts to limit student extracurricular activities to online interactions and to not offer any team sports. We realize that these decisions may be difficult to adjust to for many students and families, but SPUSD must participate in the collective effort to prevent the virus from spreading.
Daycare information for families will be provided in the coming weeks after we have an opportunity to develop plans that complement the approved instructional model and the physical closure of schools.
When Will Students Physically Return To School?
The situation surrounding a return to in-person education is fluid and we should expect that plans may change throughout the school year. According to the Governor’s recent comments, schools within Los Angeles County must remain in distance learning until the county is off the State’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
SPUSD has prepared the proper health and safety protocols as previously recommended by the county health department including, but not limited to, face coverings for all, social distancing, reduced in-person class sizes, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and cleaning high touch surfaces regularly. These protocols will be implemented if schools physically reopen this year.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we forge through these challenging times. The 2020-2021 academic year will be like no other, and we will continue to put safety first as we help our students reach their full potential.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.