Dear SPUSD Families,
Happy New Year! We hope you had a safe, restful Winter Break and your children are excited to return to school on Monday, January 10, 2022. As a reminder, most SPUSD employees are on vacation until January 7, finishing this week by catching up on much-needed rest and enjoying some well-earned time away from school. We ask that you remain mindful of how challenging the last 22 months have been for public school employees…and it’s not over. Patience, understanding, and kindness for each other will be more important than ever during the next month.
On Friday, December 31, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued new health directives to schools to provide increased protection against the spread of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. On Monday, January 3, LACDPH provided school districts clarification on the new public health order. During this meeting, Dr. Ferrer emphasized that the County’s main goal is to keep schools open as safely as possible.
Following are recent directives from LACDPH that all school districts must adhere to as well as some new related items. Please read this letter closely and note that the information may be subject to change at any time as we have experienced throughout this pandemic. While LACDPH provides school districts two weeks from the reopening date after Winter Break to implement any new requirements, SPUSD is prepared to implement the new directives immediately.
New - Masks
- Students and employees are required to wear masks outdoors except when actively eating or drinking.
- Students are strongly recommended to wear masks that are well-fitting, non-cloth masks of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.
- All employees are required to wear upgraded (medical-grade/respirator) masks. Medical-grade masks have been provided to employees, and this week SPUSD will provide higher level KN95s for employee use.
New - Testing Requirement for Close Contacts
Testing will be required for asymptomatic close contacts. Individuals must be tested on day 5 after the exposure. This applies to all close contacts allowed to remain in school regardless of vaccination status. New - Changes to COVID-19 Isolation Protocols
LACDPH now allows for a 5-day isolation period for a positive case. The revised public health order permits a COVID-19 positive-tested individual to end self-isolation if they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours, symptoms are improving, and they test negative using an antigen test on Day 5 or later. Upon returning from isolation, the individual must wear a medical-grade mask indoors and outdoors unless actively eating or drinking. New - Youth Sports
A 7-day suspension will be required along with LACDPH approval before resuming activity of any youth sports team in which there has been an outbreak of four or more epidemiologically linked cases over a 14-day period. Individual conditioning and skill building may continue during the suspension period as long as everyone on the team complies fully with any individual isolation or quarantine orders that apply. New - In-School Volunteers
Out of an abundance of caution, SPUSD volunteers will not be permitted on any school campus until February 4, 2022. At that time, we will reevaluate the possibility of allowing volunteers to return to campus and will provide you with an update. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. New - Reporting a COVID-19 Positive Case, Exposure, or Symptoms
To help with efficiency and to ensure that the SPUSD Health Team can assist staff, students, and parents as quickly as possible, please use this online system
to report a positive COVID-19 case, a COVID-19 exposure, or symptoms possibly related to COVID-19. Testing Information
SPUSD will be providing a variety of COVID-19 testing options in the next few days. Specific details about testing will be sent to you in a separate letter later today. Please continue to seek testing on your own, if needed.
Stay Home When Sick or Symptomatic
Key symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a new cough, or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include, but are not limited to, chills, muscle or body pain, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots
The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for everyone ages five and up; a Pfizer booster is authorized for anyone ages 12 and up. We continue to encourage you to consider getting your child vaccinated or boosted. To learn more about the vaccines and where to get one, visit www.covid19.ca.gov/vaccines.
Thank you to everyone for continuing to keep student and employee health and safety at the forefront so that students may remain in school. SPUSD is proud of our employees as they work to ensure that everyone has the information they need given that all COVID-19 situations are unique. We realize these new protocols may be too restrictive for some and not restrictive enough for others, but please know that we are in this together, and we will continue to stay focused on keeping schools open safely.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.