COVID-19 Updates

This webpage includes links and information regarding the high school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is only meant to help parents find copies of information already sent or available elsewhere. Given the fluidity of the situation, we know the information posted here may not always be the most up to date. If you have information you think we should add, or suggestions on what to delete, please contact sphsptsawebsite@gmail.com.

Useful links:

Dear Tiger Families,

In the past few weeks, the athletics department has had a lot to be thankful for.  We have our Season 1 student-athletes return to training and conditioning.  Our staff, with the support of both the high school and the district, have been able to efficiently and securely check-in students for pod training.  Our coaches have continued to keep our student-athletes safe by maintaining our strict protocols and the student-athletes have adhered to our practice guidelines.  Families have been incredibly supportive of our programs, by having quick and effective drop-offs and pick-ups.  In the meantime, we continue to take this moment to fine tune the details of our athletics renovation.  Though nearly everything is completed, site and district administration continually walk through to inspect and ensure that everything is done to our program needs. 

I am incredibly grateful for the patience that our families have given myself, and our staff, this year.  In two months, we had nearly 500 accepted invitations for Healthy Roster so we can review physical exams and keep parents in the loop as to the services that our full-time athletic trainer, Julius Murphy, has provided.  We have viewed and approved every individual paperwork and physical exam for nearly 350 student-athletes to return on campus. 

Currently, some teams will be returning in December.  Since we only have a few short weeks of school before we have Final Exams, some coaches are opting to move their start to January.  Please be in contact with your coaches from the coaching directory (please don’t use your @stu.spusd.net email, as our student emails will block out any emails that are not an @spusd.net email).  You should also have submitted your physical exam and completed all of the paperwork through Healthy Roster, as well as “managed your team” to be the sport you want to participate in for pod training.

As we continue pod training in December, I want to make a note that we can not allow student-athletes to be in two different pods, or sports, at one time.  Since we want to try to keep our pods and other teams as separate as possible, we will need to enforce student-athletes to train in only one sport at a time.  Should the pod training guidelines be less restrictive, we would reevaluate this.  Students who are interested in both Season 1 and Season 2 sports should approach it as any other year, finishing one season before heading to the next season.  Additionally, due to the uncertainty of our training to continue, we cannot have units attached to our voluntary training and conditioning programs.  In the second semester, it will be reassessed if we are continuing to offer training and conditioning for our student-athletes.  Should you be traveling during this holiday, please consider LA County Guidelines which recommend travelers to stay home for 14 days. 

Due to construction delays and current outdoor only guidelines, we will be requesting usage of South Pasadena Middle School’s facilities for some of our teams.  One team will be both Boys and Girls Tennis, which will be holding their try-outs in December, then having their training due to limited facility space.  Coach Gale has reached out to those who have played last year as well as the freshmen interest list.  Should you still have serious interest, please feel free to reach her from the coaching directory.

I am also pleased to announce our new Girls Soccer Head Coach, Danielle Jones.  Coach Jones was a former Junior Varsity coach here at SPHS before becoming an assistant coach at CalTech.  She was a standout player in college and played some semi-professional soccer before building her coaching career.  She has a great deal of energy, is easy to communicate with, and has a great coaching mindset.  I am very excited to have her join our staff. 

I also want to thank the hosts of the Tiger Run as well as the many participants who are running to support our Booster Club.  SPHS Booster Club is celebrating their 50th anniversary in supporting our programs.  In the three short weeks that we have returned, they have made various contributions to help our teams practice under our current conditions.  One example would be the adjustable ankle weights for the Cross Country team, which has had an instant impact in the way that the students have been training and conditioning. Another example would be the lightweight, portable whiteboards that the Football team now brings out to the field.  With the whiteboards, students are learning a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the game while we are outdoors. Since Bingo is currently unable to run due to Covid restrictions, it is more important than ever to support SPHS Booster Club so they can continue to support our student-athletes and our programs.  

In these trying times, I am eternally grateful for the community that we have in South Pasadena.  We have some of the greatest parents who are committed to giving our children nothing but the best.  Our athletics staff is constantly trying to find ways to serve our student-athletes and have them safely return. I am thankful for site administrators and personnel, district administrators and personnel, maintenance, and custodial staff for always serving our athletics program to succeed. Lastly, I am grateful and honored to be trusted with the care of our student-athletes in my position.  It takes a village, and I am grateful we are Tigers together.  

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving,
Anthony Chan
SPHS Athletic Director

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SPUSD COVID-19 COMPLIANCE TASK FORCE REVIEWS SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR FUTURE SCHOOL REOPENINGS
Group evaluates proposed health and safety measures based on Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Guidelines

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (November 9, 2020) – Recently, the COVID-19 Compliance Task Force, comprised of South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) administrators, teachers, health clerks, and parents representing elementary and secondary schools, met through Zoom to discuss various COVID-19 safety protocols that may be used in the future when schools physically reopen. Led by District Nurse Abigail Silver, the group’s purpose is to monitor all COVID-19 safety standards and to ensure that students and employees receive proper education and information about COVID-19. The District Nurse is the designated member of the Task Force who serves as a liaison to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“The role COVID-19 Compliance Task Force is critical to our reopening plans since the team will be monitoring implementation of all our health and safety preparations,” said SPUSD Board President Michele Kipke. “We are so thankful for the time and energy each member is contributing to our safe return to school.”

Though SPUSD will remain in Distance Learning through at least winter break, schools are equipped and ready with proper PPE for teachers and students when it is time to return. The campuses have been redesigned to allow for socially distanced classrooms and one-direction movement patterns. SPUSD support staff have been trained on proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and new hand sanitizing stations are positioned throughout campuses. Additionally, the District Nurse and school health clerks have established testing and reporting action guidelines and exposure management plans.

“SPUSD administrators and staff have put in countless hours ordering and installing the new equipment, restructuring the traffic flow on campuses and testing the protocols to make sure that we are fully prepared,” said Kipke.

One of the first jobs of the Task Force is to review the SPUSD 2020-2021 School Opening and Safety Plan before it is shared with the community. Representing a myriad of viewpoints, the Task Force ensures that recommendations are safe, feasible and practical for all groups—students, parents, employees, and administrators. Reviewing details related to health and safety protocols, facility cleaning and disinfecting, instruction, student support, and extracurricular activities, the Task Force also will help make sure that safety measures and reporting procedures are communicated clearly to the community.

“Over time, the COVID-19 Compliance Task Force will assist with monitoring the implementation of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updates as they relate to the framework for reopening schools,” said Superintendent Geoff Yantz. 

Since August, SPUSD has successfully implemented socially distanced and health county compliant child care services for 70 TK – 8th grade students. Students participate in Distance Learning by working in designated pods from Marengo Elementary School classrooms. In addition, last week the District brought SPHS student-athletes back to training and conditioning, following all safety protocols for an eagerly anticipated return to sports activities.

More information about the COVID-19 Compliance Task Force and the School Opening & Safety Plan may be found here.

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California. Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation of providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level. The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.

For more information, contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent at scarroll@spusd.net.

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November 5, 2020

Dear SPUSD Parents/Guardians,

As we finish our twelfth week of Distance Learning, we want to update you on some changes the District is making to support our students’ technology use.
 
Zoom Update When Using Chromebooks
Recently, our Tech Support Lines showed an increase in the number of calls/emails about student drops from Zoom. Google has recently acknowledged a known issue with Chrome Operating System (OS) Version 85 causing increased CPU usage compared to previous versions. Many SPUSD Chromebooks are using these affected versions. Unfortunately, only a new Chrome OS update/release will fix these issues, and Google has confirmed it will not be releasing a new version for several weeks.  
 
While we are waiting for the new Chrome OS version, we are proactively working on solutions to decrease the number of student drops. SPUSD has turned off Bluetooth on all Chromebooks, and has removed Google Play as well based on advice received from a Zoom engineer. Both Google Play and Bluetooth are high CPU applications, and we hope these changes will free up the resources needed to stabilize Zoom. Please be aware that this change will affect the usage of Bluetooth devices such as headsets and earbuds. In addition, our tech team will be using additional tools in our Zoom Dashboard that will enable us to see the health of all Zoom meetings in real-time. Another Zoom feature will be added that will put students back in a waiting room, should the host ever disconnect. These options are both brand new, and SPUSD will be one of the first districts to use these tools. 
 
SPUSD has also purchased enhancements to Google Meets in order to offer more tools in this alternate video conferencing platform; these tools include breakout rooms that teachers will find useful in the virtual classroom. Through this enhanced service, we will be able to provide a comparable backup video conferencing platform should Zoom connections become an issue for daily instruction. 
 
Monitoring Student Work
As you know, in a virtual classroom, teachers cannot circulate and monitor activity. To assist teachers with monitoring, SPUSD acquired Lightspeed Systems Relay Classroom and has trained teachers on its applicable digital classroom uses. As needed, when students are working on SPUSD Chromebooks in the digital classroom, teachers have the ability to monitor usage to ensure students are on task; to see that students are working on the correct assignment; and to ensure that students have not completely veered off task during class time. 
 
The SPUSD Office of Instructional Services and Department of Technology will continue to work closely with teachers and students, doing our best to ensure all students have access to daily lessons in the safest, most efficient ways. 
 
Please continue to submit any issues with student technology, including Zoom drops, through the Tech Hotline ‪(805) 285-2526‬, technology@spusd.net, and the individual tech support email accounts assigned to each school. Our knowledge of current issues and challenges will enable us to assist in a more timely manner.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Christiane Gervais
Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services

Dear Tiger Families,

Over the past weeks and weekends, our coaches and staff have been working on creating training pods based on athletic clearance through Healthy Roster.  We continued to accept and clear people over the weekend and worked with coaches to place people into pods for the start of training and conditioning for Season 1 Sports.  For our Season 2 Sports, it is encouraged that athletic clearance is completed early, with a team selected in “manage teams” so coaches can view the students to place in pods.  It is recommended that you log into Healthy Roster via computer for the best view of the clearance documents and selection of teams you’d like to be placed into a pod.

Season 1 Student-Athlete Information is here:

Entrances and Exits for Season 1 Sports  

Season 1 Practice Schedule

Cross Country Pods

Football Pods

Girls Volleyball Pods

Boys Volleyball Pods

Water Polo Pods

Please note the key on each of the pods.  If there is a green highlight, they are welcome to come tomorrow as long as they do a self-check at home, prior to arrival, then show a green checkmark at the check-in location.  A yellow or red highlight means they are not okay to arrive on campus.

This should be done daily, prior to arrival to expedite the check-in process.  Please bookmark this link: Check-In SPHS

Things to have remember for practice:

  1. Remember to do your  Check-In to SPHS prior to arrival.  Bring your phone to show the green check mark, or you can print it out.  This is to be done daily.
  2. No parents or spectators are allowed in the facilities.
  3. Please have more than an ample supply of water, my suggestion is at least 40 ounces of water.  We are not allowing the use of the drinking fountains, but we will have an emergency bottle refill with our Certified Athletic Trainer, Julius Murphy.
  4. Students must arrive and wear a face covering at all times.  
  5. Please pack minimally
  6. Pick-up and drop-off locations for the stadium are on Meridian, so please have a plan in place and be courteous of our neighbors.
  7. The aquatics facility will be dropping off from Diamond Ave. going into the Meridian alleyway, as it is a one-way alley.  Pick-up will be on Diamond Ave.  Please have a plan in place and be courteous of our neighbors.
  8. There are no indoor facilities other than restrooms which will be for single occupancy.

I appreciate everyone’s patience and for working with us in trying to get out student-athletes in training and conditioning.  Please remember that these workouts are voluntary and are not counted for graduation credit until we are able to hold matches.

Feel free to send me an email with any questions.

Thanks,
Anthony Chan
SPHS Athletic Director

Hi,

I have received a lot of emails asking how they can change their organization to a specific team (e.g. Girls Basketball). This needs to be done on a browser (either computer or phone) but not in the app.  Any changes in forms, where you want to delete and re-upload must also be done on browser. 

Here’s a short video on how to “Manage Teams” so they can be put onto a Roster that would be viewable by the coach.

https://youtu.be/S5Je6xSAoy4

Thanks,
Anthony Chan
SPHS Athletic Director

logoFullNameDear SPHS Families:

I hope you are all doing well and taking good care of yourselves.

This email has two attachments for you.  The first is a calendar of the negotiated departmental asynchronous days that were explained in Dr. Yantz’s letter last week.  The students have been told which are their asynchronous days for each subject, but I know that many parents want to be on top of this, as well.

The second attachment is for a San Marino High School-sponsored program, “Current Issues in Teen Substance Use and Mental Health: Vaping, Social Media, the Pandemic, and More” to be held on Thursday, October 29 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Registration is required and the attached flyer has details about this virtual seminar. 

Soon, you will also be receiving something of great value and importance — invitations to four Challenge Success events that SPHS is sponsoring for our school community.  Please look for that upcoming email.

Sincerely,
Janet Anderson
Principal

File attachments:
Departmental Asynchronous Days 10-2020.pdf
USC Program 10-2020.png

logoFullNameOctober 15, 2020

Dear SPUSD Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

Thank you all for your support as we progress through the school year and face challenges that are new to administrators, teachers, students, and staff. We are all working through unique circumstances and are making adjustments to our Distance Learning program that we believe will improve the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) educational experience. Please take the time to review this letter closely. We realize it is lengthy, but it includes many important updates.

We recognize that we are part of a diverse community of learners with many families and students reporting tremendous success with the current Distance Learning program while others are experiencing issues with workload, screen time, and mental health and wellbeing. We greatly appreciate everyone’s feedback through public comments at Board meetings, emails, phone calls, and strong participation in the most recent SPUSD Distance Learning survey. Thank you for placing such high value on your child’s education.

Not being in school, in person, is very difficult for all of us, but we want to be realistic about the hurdles that we must overcome before a safe reopening is possible for our District. Los Angeles County has very different restrictions than neighboring counties, and it is critical that we continue to follow safer at home guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. My last letter shared that LA County would review the criteria for reopening schools at the end of October. The health department guidelines for schools are constantly changing due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19. We recently received clarification regarding critical details that must be met and the potential reopening timeline.

The following are important topics that were discussed during the most recent SPUSD Board Meeting. These decisions have been thoughtfully researched and were made based on current health conditions and restrictions, stakeholder feedback, collaboration with nearby districts, and the needs of our community. Student and employee safety is and will always be SPUSD’s top priority.

Distance Learning Will Continue Through the End of the First Semester

SPUSD and the respective labor associations, TASP and CSEA, have a common understanding and agreed that it is in the best interest of students and employees to commit to Distance Learning through at least the end of the first semester (Winter Break). The criteria from the LA County Health Department, as specified below, led to this difficult decision. 

Counties in California follow a four-tier system with criteria for reopening schools. Los Angeles (LA) County currently falls in the most restrictive tier (purple) and must meet the criteria for the second tier (red) for four consecutive weeks before the County Health Department will consider school reopenings. Again, LA County would need to meet the red tier criteria for four consecutive weeks with no setbacks.

  • Given the current timeline, the earliest schools within LA County might be eligible for reopening consideration takes us into Thanksgiving break.
  • While our goal is a safe return to school as soon as possible, we view returning between Thanksgiving and Winter Break as disruptive to students and teachers, especially for secondary students leading into their course semester finals. 
  • This timing also coincides with flu season—a period when students tend to be more prone to illness. 

Some community members have urged the District to apply for a school reopening waiver for grades TK-2. Please know that the approval process is still weeks away and is focused on schools with a high(er) percentage of “free and reduced lunch” counts (SPUSD’s percentage hovers around 15%) putting our elementary schools near the bottom of the list. The waiver process also only allows for six schools each week to be considered in our Board of Supervisor District 5 area, which covers hundreds of schools, more than 2,800 square miles and about two million people. The waiver details are not favorable to SPUSD at the moment. 

When the LA County Department of Public Health provides further guidance for reopening, we will again review the feasibility of the waiver for elementary grades TK-2. Changes are happening all the time, and we remain hopeful that lower infection rates will lead to a quicker return to school. Please keep in mind that the waiver application and approval process takes at least four weeks.

Middle School Mondays Are Back

To better meet the needs of students and teachers, modifications will be made to the current SPMS schedule. Stakeholders indicated that middle school students were having trouble adjusting to a rolling block schedule five days per week and the associated instructional pacing.

  • Starting Monday, October 26, SPMS will return to its more traditional daily schedule with a Monday “all period” day that ends by lunch. 
  • Time after lunch on Mondays will be designated for asynchronous learning, interventions, meetings, and teacher preparation.

Professional Development, Teacher Collaboration and Departmental Prep Days for Secondary Schools Will Begin Soon

SPUSD and the teachers’ labor association—TASP—have agreed to six Department Days that will be allotted as asynchronous time for secondary students between now and December 18, 2020.

  • The days will be organized so that students experience one asynchronous period during the department prep day to the greatest extent possible.
  • Teachers will assign asynchronous work during the preparation day that will be “Zoom Free” and will meet the State’s daily minute requirements.
  • Teachers will provide one week prior notice to the students that identifies the date and period that will include asynchronous assignments.
  • Teachers will use the asynchronous period as time for collaboration, preparation, professional development, evaluation of student work, or office hours.

High School Student-Athletes Will Return to Training and Conditioning in November

In an effort to further engage students in activities that may help improve their mental health and overall wellness, SPHS will resume voluntary training and conditioning for its student-athletes at the beginning of November.

  • Working in tandem with Rio Hondo League schools, SPHS Athletic Director Anthony Chan has developed a plan that will allow student-athletes to participate safely in training and conditioning for their respective sports.
  • All protocols are consistent with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s “Returning To Training and Conditioning” guidelines, including but not limited to:
    • All training and conditioning will take place outdoors, will require masks, and will use pods of 12 athletes. Students must complete a physical and clearances before attending in-person training as is a standard requirement.
    • Sports designated as “Season 1” will begin training in November. These sports include Cross Country, Football, Volleyball, and Water Polo. “Season 2” athletes—those participating in Badminton, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, and Wrestling—may begin training in December.
    • Students will be required to complete a health screening every day before training begins, and ball use for all sports will be limited.
    • SPHS athletics facilities will remain closed to the community and outside organizations at all times in accordance with the LA County Department of Public Health orders. 

​As you can see, we continue to evolve and adapt to changing conditions and will continue to monitor our experiences and collaborate with neighboring school districts in an effort to return to school as soon as it is safe to do so. While the exact response you and your family may be seeking may not be represented in the above actions, we believe that these adjustments are thoughtful, reflective, and ensure that South Pasadena maintains a high quality educational program for all students during these extraordinary times. 

We look forward to brighter days ahead and hope that you and your families stay healthy and happy.  Remember to VOTE!

Regards,
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.
Superintendent

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August 14, 2020

Dear SPUSD Community,

To help combat the spread of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health now requires daily health checks for all visitors, including employees and students, before entering all SPUSD schools and facilities. SPUSD is introducing a new Districtwide health screening process that will assist with completing these checks to keep our students and staff safe.

Starting now – during distance learning – and eventually when we physically return to school, the screening process must be completed by everyone who will be on campus or at an SPUSD site. You do not need to complete the screening if you are staying at home. Children and families participating in the SPUSD Extended Care Program also must complete the health screening daily and will receive further information.

Health screening includes answering a series of questions concerning cough, shortness of breath, fever, and contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. To help facilitate this process, SPUSD has partnered with JobSiteCheck, a company that specializes in web-based health and safety screenings.

These checks can be completed remotely or in-person upon arrival at SPUSD sites. SPUSD sites include Arroyo Vista, Marengo, Monterey Hills, SPMS, SPHS, the District Office, and the District Maintenance Facility. 

The screening process is easy, and you will need two items to begin:

  1. Thermometer
  2. Smart phone (either iPhone or Android) with a camera, or a computer 

Please follow these steps to complete the screening process:

First, locate the QR code specific to the site you will be visiting. QR codes are posted on each school’s website and are posted at each physical site. We recommend that you print a hardcopy of the QR codes for the campuses you may routinely visit. Visiting means you will be staying on campus – parents do not need to complete the screening if they are dropping off their children at an SPUSD site. This will allow you to complete your health check prior to coming to any of the SPUSD sites. Alternatively, if you are unable to complete the screening before arriving at a site, you will find QR codes posted at the entrance to each site.

Please note, there are different codes for each location. If you have students who attend different schools, then you will need to complete the screening process using the QR codes or URLs for each school.

Every morning before you/your child leaves the house to come to school, you must answer the questionnaire and confirm that you/your child is allowed on-site. You should also take you/your child’s temperature each morning at home before coming to school. If you do not have a thermometer at home, please alert the health clerk, or the check-in person at the gate when you arrive. Each person entering the site needs to complete the screening process.

When you scan the QR code, a pop up appears “Open go-job.io”. Click on the pop up to read the District’s COVID-19 Safety Briefing. Acknowledge at the bottom of the screen that you have read and agree. Next, you will be prompted to enter basic information and answer the required health screening questions. Click on “submit” when you are done answering the questions. If your camera is unable to recognize the QR code, a URL is also available on the same page.  Just type in the URL into your browser and follow the same steps.

Based on your responses to the questions, you will receive an acknowledgement clearing you/your child to enter the school building or to stay home. Do NOT enter the building if you have failed the screening questions. Save the verification that you/your child is allowed on-site.

  • Take a screenshot of your screening process result or leave your browser open. If you close the browser window, you will lose the verification. 
  • If you don’t have a smartphone, you can use the URL on your computer and print out your response.
  •  Here is an example of the QR code and check-in process that you will see posted:

Reminders:

  • Each person visiting an SPUSD site must complete the screening process before entering. Responses are time stamped. Note: parents and students are not required to complete the screening process for curbside meal service and school supply distribution, but everyone MUST wear face coverings and maintain social distancing protocols at all times.
  • Scan the QR code to launch the screening – do not take a picture.
  • If camera doesn’t recognize the QR code, then use the URL listed.
  • Only scan in on the days you are physically coming to the school/facility.

Students and visitors will be required to show proof of screening completion (with a Green/”OK” result) upon entering the school/facility. If you/your child does not pass the check in (Red/”STOP” result), then you must stay home or leave immediately if you completed the screening at the site. Please expect to be contacted by an SPUSD health clerk with follow-up questions that same day. If you answered a question in error and received an incorrect red STOP notification, then contact the school health clerk immediately to report the error.

Please direct any questions or concerns you may have regarding the District’s daily health screening procedures to the health clerk at the school site. You also may contact SPUSD’s School Nurse, Abby Silver, at asilver@spusd.net.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important matter as we continue to work together to keep one another healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Abby Silver
SPUSD District Nurse

QRC codes

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Please review this important communication from the Executive Director of Student Support Services.

Thank you.

File attachments:
SPUSD SPED COVID-19 Distance Learning FAQ – 8.7.20.pdf

If you would like to receive email notification of SPUSD Board of Education meetings, including information on how to provide public comment, you can contact Sylvia Carroll, Assistant to the Superintendent of South Pasadena Unified School District at (626) 441-5810, scarroll@spusd.net. The SPUSD Board meeting information is also posted on the SPUSD website.

You can access SPUSD Board meeting agendas here. Click on the year and then the date of the desired meeting. Then click on the icon for the agenda.

You can access videos (livestream and archived) of the public portions of the SPUSD Board meetings here.