Dear SPUSD Families, Faculty, Staff, and Administrators,
SPUSD is required and will continue to follow the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidance and mandates to allow for full, in-person instruction in the safest way possible.
We are at a point now in our path forward where several health organizations including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Cal/OSHA, the California Department of Public Health, and LACDPH have aligned their masking guidance for schools after seeing decreases in cases, transmission, and hospitalization rates, along with increases in vaccination rates. On Thursday, the CDC declared that there is low transmission in Los Angeles County.
Beginning on March 12, SPUSD will strongly recommend, not require, that students and employees wear masks indoors at school. We acknowledge that lifting the mask requirement may cause concern for some people, especially those who are at higher risk for COVID-19 or live with someone who is at higher risk. It is incumbent upon us all to make students and employees feel respected regardless of their personal choice to wear, or not wear, a mask.
Please talk to your children about the changes that are coming and how to respect others' choices. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following factors for consideration as your family decides whether or not to wear masks:
- If your child is between ages 2 and 5 and currently ineligible for COVID-19 vaccine
- If your child is immunocompromised and may not have a protective immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine, or is at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness
- If you child is not immunized
- If other members of your family are at higher risk of severe disease or are not immunized
- If you live in a community with “high” COVID-19 transmission
These factors may lead adults and children to continue wearing face masks in public indoor settings, including schools, even if not required. The AAP emphasized that children, adolescents, and teachers who choose to continue wearing face masks in school settings should be supported in their decision to do so. For more information, here is a link
to the AAP’s recent masking recommendations.
As transmission continues to decrease in the coming weeks, LACDPH will likely make additional modifications to the guidance and protocols for schools. It is still very important for students and employees to remain home when sick and to take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms or with a known exposure to COVID-19.
Just a reminder that Spring Break is scheduled for March 28 - April 1, 2022. SPUSD will send home one COVID-19 test per child to be administered before returning to school on April 4. The tests will be distributed during the week of March 21.
Thank you for your collaboration as we navigate these next steps. Let’s finish the school year strong and continue to highlight the tremendous work happening in our classrooms and on our athletic fields, courts, stages, and playgrounds.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.