January 22, 2021
Dear SPUSD Families,
State officials recently released new information related to California’s Safe Schools for All Plan that includes a framework for reopening in-person instruction. Developed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the framework includes new directives that apply to all public and private schools operating in California. Schools must comply with these new orders.
After closely reviewing the directives, receiving clarification from state officials, and reviewing legal opinions related to the directives, South Pasadena Unified School District must delay reopening for in-person instruction for general education and special education students in grades TK-2 to be compliant with the new regulations.
As you may recall, the CDPH and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health granted SPUSD a waiver to reopen schools for students in grades TK-2. The waiver approved for South Pasadena elementary schools is not valid for reopening and has been replaced by the new state criteria. Grades TK-2 may reopen, if a county is in the Purple Tier, when the adjusted COVID-19 case rate for the county has been at or below 25 cases per 100,000 population per day for at least five consecutive days. Additional information on how the adjusted case rate is calculated may be found here
We are committed to a safe return for all and we will continue to plan for this day. Officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently gave us glowing reviews about the safety and mitigation measures at our schools. We will continue to adjust these measures, as necessary, to prepare for reopening.
Elementary school administrators will reevaluate and release AM/PM assignments for students when we are closer to reopening. The Extended Day Program at Marengo will continue until further notice. High school athletic conditioning has been temporarily suspended and plans to resume in early February. SPMS also plans to offer intramural sports conditioning beginning in February.
For middle school and high school students the guidance regarding a return to in-person instruction has not changed. The CDPH framework mandates that schools serving these grades may reopen only if they are located in counties in the Red, Orange or Yellow Tiers.
Also important to note is that some of our SPUSD staff members—our District Nurse, health clerks and others who are responsible for the direct medical care of students—have received their first vaccine doses. In LA County, educators fall under Phase 1B/Tier 1 to receive vaccinations, hopefully in early February.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.