COVID-19 Surveillance Testing:
SPUSD Update – August 27, 2021
Dear SPUSD Families, Faculty, Staff, and Administrators,
It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching September and that the school year is well underway. Thank you to everyone for your support. Returning to in-person learning brings relief and possibly other challenges as we all adjust to different school experiences. We are deeply focused on the well-being of our students, their safety and their academic, social, and emotional development.
Expanded Social-Emotional Resources
To meet the social-emotional needs of our students, SPUSD Student Support Services has expanded existing resources and has established partnerships with new organizations to provide additional services to students. At all levels–TK-12–our school-based, academic counselors are the best place to start if your child(ren) needs help. For more information on all the social-emotional resources available, please review this flyer and contact your school-based counselors with any questions. Parent workshops also will be held throughout the school year, and we will provide additional information when available.
COVID-19 Reminders/Exposure Notification
At this time, SPUSD is in an excellent position relative to other school districts in Los Angeles County. While we have experienced three positive cases districtwide since the start of school, all cases were contracted outside of our school campuses. Also, the State of California reports that within the City of South Pasadena, 86% of the population eligible to be vaccinated (ages 12+) has been vaccinated.
We continue to need families’ help to keep our campuses safe. Please do your part by having your child wear a mask to school and affirming mask etiquette; promoting frequent hand washing; maintaining physical distance when possible; and please do not send your child to school if they are experiencing symptoms and/or they are sick.
Within SPUSD, people’s opinions about COVID restrictions are varied. We hear you all, but would like to remind you that we are mandated to follow Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance and protocols. Our mitigation measures are outlined in the SPUSD Containment, Control & Response Plan and are implemented to the extent feasible at each school campus.
When there is a positive case, the SPUSD Health Team and school administrators:
Work with the infected individual and teachers to identify any close contacts (see definition of close contacts and protocols here).
Notify the close contacts immediately and provide detailed information to them about next steps depending on their vaccination status.
May contact the affected class(es) (if the student was present in class during the infectious period).
May notify the entire campus of the positive case.
Submit a report to the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
Update the SPUSD COVID-19 Dashboard.
We have made some modifications to the weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing. To ease the traffic burden at the beginning of the testing period, we are working in collaboration with the South Pasadena Police Department, and we moved the testing location to South Pasadena Middle School. We also adjusted the time from 3:15-6:15 p.m. and spaced out the arrivals so that the testing process will be faster. Please remember to register before 11:59 p.m. on the Friday before the testing date.
Each school’s health office also has COVID-19 test kits on hand for students or employees who require immediate testing if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with a known COVID-19 infection.
Future Vaccination Clinics
We expect to be able to offer vaccination clinics in the future, especially when many individuals may be due for booster shots. We will provide additional details about the clinics when we have more information.
In the meantime, if your child is eligible, please make an appointment for vaccination. One of the many advantages of being vaccinated, per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance, is that your child is not required to quarantine if they are deemed a close contact and do not have symptoms. Please refer to this infographic for additional details.
Everyone is learning how to deal with this new reality. I would like to remind you of the District’s core values. We’re all in this together, and I ask you to demonstrate these values in your interactions with students, teachers, administrators, and other parents. We have faced and have overcome many obstacles, and we will continue to do so.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.
SPUSD Update – August 20, 2021
Masks: SPUSD follows the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) protocols stating that masks that cover the nose and mouth are required for students and employees inside school buildings and classrooms. While outside, masks are optional for students and employees at this time. SPUSD recommends masks outdoors especially in crowded settings. At our schools, it is evident that a culture of mask wearing outdoors has been established, with appropriate and safe breaks for students and employees, as needed. Some students and employees may experience dehydration, nausea, or breathing challenges while wearing masks. It is important to be mindful, sensitive and respectful to individuals who need to take appropriate mask breaks while outdoors.
Close Contacts and Quarantine: While we all are doing all that we can to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, the reality is that we will experience positive cases this school year. It’s important for everyone to understand the definition of “close contact,” and the quarantine guidelines set by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Please note that these guidelines are subject to change and are more restrictive than the California Department of Public Health’s orders. You may find more information regarding close contacts and quarantine here.
Reporting: The SPUSD COVID Compliance Officer is District Nurse Abigail Silver. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Nurse Silver has managed the COVID-19 mitigation process and practices. She communicates often and directly with LACDPH officials. She is highly skilled and knowledgeable at managing all COVID-19 reporting and contact tracing processes.
School Lunch: This year, the federal government announced that schools will provide free lunch for all students. While this is great news, the logistics of offering free lunch to a larger number of students in a defined period of time when there is a national food shortage for schools, places parameters on the type of food that is served and the options available to students. Until the food supply chain issues are resolved, it will not be possible for SPUSD to serve the posted menu each day at every school. The SPUSD Food & Nutrition Services Department is working hard to make sure that lunches are distributed efficiently during the lunch periods to allow for time to eat and play, especially at the elementary level.