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:

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September 21, 2020

Dear SPUSD Community,

We are a little more than one month into the new school year and six months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s time to reflect on a school year that is impacting each of us in different ways. State and local officials see signs of hope in the recent drops in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Los Angeles County. Sadly, the pandemic is not the only tragedy we are currently dealing with as many nearby neighborhoods have been negatively affected by the wildfires. Our thoughts go out to everyone who has been impacted. Remaining indoors due to poor air quality caused by the wildfires has added to the isolation that many of us are feeling as a result of the pandemic. Further contributing to this sense of uneasiness, the San Gabriel Valley experienced a 4.5 magnitude earthquake Friday night.

These are tough times. Many of us have experienced changes in schedules, family, work and housing circumstances, and more. To top it off, we are now required to use technology—some of it very unfamiliar—for many aspects of our lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends making sure that screen time does not substitute for sleep or active time. The AAP encourages that children spend screen time with others, while certain times of the day, such as meals, outdoor activity, and bedtime are screen free. Please, do all that you can to monitor your child’s habits while at home. Our teachers and administrators are working to transform the curriculum for this new environment making live interactions meaningful and engaging. Each day, progress is being made. We must continue adapting to distance learning as we may be engaged in this type of instruction for the foreseeable future.

If your child is struggling academically, feels isolated, or anxious please communicate with his/her teachers, counselor, or school administrator right away. While the number of instructional minutes per grade level is determined by the State, our amazing SPUSD team will listen to your concerns and help come up with solutions within the established parameters. We also are fortunate that we have a group of counselors at both the elementary and secondary levels who are able to assist with school challenges as well as social-emotional support. Our new partnership with Care Solace is another terrific resource available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in multiple languages that will connect you and your family members with local mental health professionals. Care Solace professionals may be reached at (888) 515-0595 or through this link. Should these resources not meet your needs, our site administrators are also available to help offer solutions and possibilities for students.

At the end of August, California released a new four-tier system for counties to follow with criteria for reopening. Los Angeles County remains in Tier 1 (purple) indicating widespread transmission of COVID-19. During a recent conference call with superintendents, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) shared that at the end of October the county plans to evaluate the COVID-19 data and study school openings occurring in San Diego and Orange Counties. With the lessons learned from other counties, LADPH may adjust their school reopening guidelines. This does not mean that Los Angeles County will authorize school openings in November. It means they plan to evaluate the environmental conditions to determine if and when schools may reopen in Los Angeles County.

Right now, we need to settle into distance learning to the best of our abilities. At the District level, we are doing everything we can to ensure that we will be ready with all the PPE, support staff, and systems in place for the day we return. Our priority is to keep everyone healthy and safe and to come back in a way that is sustainable. It’s a slow process, but it must be safely and responsibly implemented.

We know these are challenging situations. More than ever, we need you to share your calm, share your strength, and share your laughter with your children. We are here to help, please reach out for support if needed.

Thank you and please continue to stay safe.

Kindly,
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.
Superintendent

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Dear SPHS Parents:

Enclosed is some important beginning of the year information for which you have been waiting.  This information is about opportunities to purchase the 2020-21 yearbook, buy a Student Activity Card, get the famous Tiger Guide, and support student groups and activities, all at a highly discounted price, given this year’s circumstances. 

This year, we have provided a fillable PDF form and the ability to make online purchases through the ASB online store (www.sphsasb.org).  The attached flyer describes all of the available items and donation categories.  The other attachment is the PDF.  We highly encourage you to make your purchases electronically if you are able.  If you prefer cash (exact change), checks, or in-person credit card charges, there will be a place at Wednesday’s and Thursday’s textbook pick up to make a face-to-face purchase.

Some of you have asked about school photos.  After textbook distribution this week, you will be receiving information about those.

Sincerely,

Mr. Casey Shotwell
Director of Activities


File attachments:
2020 Registration.jpg
Registration Form ’20-’21V1 Fillable.pdf

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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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Dear SPUSD Families,

Wishing you a great second day of school! 
 
In an effort to provide our community with additional resources about our two distance learning platforms, Google Classroom and Seesaw, several of our fantastic educators collaborated to create family-oriented tutorials for each platform. Click the links below to learn more!
 
Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or our technology team with any additional questions you may have. Please know that our technology staff is working over-time to respond to technology support calls and emails.  With the first day of distance learning, we had a high volume of calls and emails, and inquiries will be responded to as quickly as possible.  As a reminder, our technology staff can be reached via email or phone:
 
We have a tech support call-in line, available 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the phone number is 805-285-2526.  The tech support emails are below:
 
Arroyo Vista: AVtech@spusd.net
MarengoMRtech@spusd.net
Monterey Hills: MHStech@spusd.net
South Pasadena Middle School: SPMStech@spusd.net
South Pasadena High School: SPHStech@spusd.net
Districttechnology@spusd.net
 
Have a lovely weekend.  

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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

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Dear SPHS Families:

Since we’ve been in such constant communication over the past weeks, sending a welcome letter now seems as though the cart isn’t just in front of the horse; the horse is chasing the cart!  Still, I want to officially welcome you to the new school year.  I cannot express how grateful I am for your patience during our time of reimagining our school structures.  In addition to your concerns about school and your children, I know that you are all dealing with the personal impacts from COVID-19 and the changes it has wrought.  Still, I have found our families to be gracious and understanding throughout.

People keep referring to this time with words like unprecedented, haunting, and life-altering.  While it is all of those, I mostly find it weird!  Still, as I have shared previously, we can look for the good that we can find amongst the bad — more family time, less emphasis on a rushed world, and a reconnection to personal and community values and outreach.  Our kids have a choice to make in using the situation to develop resilience and flexibility.  Still, sudden change comes with a price, so we will be offering many venues for a school-home connection through clubs, activities, communication, and social-emotional and counseling opportunities.  Please encourage your children to join in, not only with their academics, but also with the co-curricular and extra-curricular school engagement events.

The other world-changing event of the summer that brings us hope for a better future is the renewed opportunity we have, through the Black Lives Matter movement, to examine, consider, and act upon the societal need to emphasize equality and to promote self-reflection, both personally and institutionally.  A group of our District administrators met throughout the summer for an intense and enlightening book study led by Dr. Narro from Monterey Hills School based upon How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.  Our school’s Anti-Bias Club has continued to meet and reach out to give voice to others, including being the force behind a new commemorative mural to be painted in South Pasadena.  We look forward to inviting more students to work with the Anti-Defamation League in their anti-bias program after the school year gets underway.

With the late summer surprise retirements of Mr. Mike Hogan and Ms. Elinor Charlton, we do have some staffing changes.  Our librarian, Ms. Wilkerson, is a Health teacher, so she will assume the Health portion of Ms. Charlton’s position.  Ms. Andrea Fox, our Internship Coordinator will temporarily oversee our Tiger Newspaper program while we search for a permanent replacement, and Mr. Mark Zavidow from the English Department is taking over the yearbook (Copa) responsibilities in Mr. Hogan’s place.

I will save the nuts and bolts information for my calls and emails home, taking things one chunk at a time so as to not cause overload.  Reflecting on the summer, I so appreciate the partnership of our PTSA and Booster Club and, of course, the amazing energy and preparation of our teachers and staff in this “summer that wasn’t.”  There will be some hiccups as we tackle new innovations and practices, and I am confident that when we all assume best intent, we’ll make it through to the other side in a way that works well for all.

After many years at each school in SPUSD and now half of them as the Principal of SPHS, I think I’ve never been prouder of our District schools and community for working together with their focus always on what is best for our students.  With that as our lens and shared commitment, we’re on the right track.

As always, I can be reached at janderson@spusd.net, and I look forward to continuing our work toward our common passion, our kids.  Go, Tigers!

Most sincerely,

Janet Anderson 

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Dear SPHS Families:

Below, you will find a modified version of the Distance Learning Guidelines previously sent to you by the Office of Instruction.  These are more specific to your high school needs.

I told you that I would try to send manageable bits of information in each message rather than send all of it at once.  Also, we’re still adapting to our new situation as we get deeper into it; even planning proactively as we have, there are always new challenges.

The instructions below about students accessing their school emails is essential.  For the ninth grade class and other new students, there will be an additional incentive for them to log in on Wednesday evening — I will be sending a special link for them to access the ASB new student orientation film.  It is must-see viewing, I’m certain, as the student leaders have worked hard to create a meaningful film for our new Tigers.

For all students, their locator cards (schedules and teacher assignments) will be visible through the Aeries student portal on Wednesday.

We are aiming for Wednesday and Thursday, August 19 and 20, for our drive-through book bag distribution.  I will send details about that event as we get closer.

We are updating the online calendar (found at sphstigers.org), and I’m having separation anxiety by not providing you our traditional “Fridge-Friendly” calendar.  One, there was no way to get it to you, and 2) there’s not a lot to put on the calendar at this time.  Still, we will continue to update the online calendar as scheduling allows.

Finally, attached, you will find our daily schedules in a simplified form for this Distance Learning environment.  Below the schedule, there is some clarifying information.

This will all work out!

Fondly,

Janet Anderson
SPHS Principal

DISTANCE LEARNING GUIDE FOR SPHS

This guide will help you understand how the distance learning program will begin.

GETTING STARTED WITH DISTANCE LEARNING

  • By late Wednesday afternoon, August 12, teachers will provide instructions on accessing their digital classrooms.  

  • Students in grades 3-12 should check their SPUSD student email account for updates from their teachers on accessing a digital classroom.  

  • Student Google usernames and passwords are accessible in the AERIES Parent Portal (https://my.spusd.net) under Student Info and Google Apps.

  • Parents should expect students to participate in live interactive sessions for 50% of the secondary instructional period.

  • When logging into live interaction sessions via Zoom or Google Meets, please ensure that students are logged into their GOOGLE account, enabling teachers to see their names during the live sessions.  

RESOURCES

  • These guidelines for Netiquette during distance learning are very important for all families to review with their children. Please be aware that recording of teachers and students is prohibited by law. 

  • This webpage contains resources for parents with more resources being added daily.

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

  • SPUSD has created a tech support call-in line that will go live on August 12. The call-in hours are 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the phone number is 805-285-2526.

  • SPUSD also will offer tech support via email that will go live on August 12. Use the email address listed below to access help for your SPHS student:

HELPFUL TIPS

  • Please wait to contact teachers until you receive instructions from them. Like in-person schooling, teachers of students in grades 3-12 will primarily be communicating with students.   

  • Student illness/absence: please contact the attendance clerk/main office via email if your child is sick.  Mrs. Ruth Carlson, our attendance clerk, may be reached at rcarlson@spusd.net 

  • Students should connect daily with each teacher and complete the educational activities provided by the teacher.  Attendance will be taken daily.

  • Educational activities will be evaluated by the teachers.  The expectation is that students remain fully engaged with their teachers in order to fulfill California’s compulsory education requirements.

File attachments:
SPHS Distance Learning Schedule 2020-21.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.