August 3, 2021
Dear ESUSD Families, Employees and Community,
I hope that you and your family are enjoying your summer. ESUSD is thrilled to welcome back all students full-time on campus for in-person instruction starting on August 25th. Throughout the summer, various summer day camps have been hosted through the Learning Connection and Eagles’ Nest Preschool. A personal highlight for me was visiting Eagles’ Nest and observing our three- and four-year-old students enjoying outdoor play and classroom learning center activities. Even our youngest children are tremendously adaptable and quickly learned the necessary safety protocol of wearing a mask indoors. I am pleased to share that ESUSD has continued to have no community transmission of COVID-19 on school campuses throughout all our expanded summer programming, including special education Extended School Year, our Summer Learning Loss program, and the Ed! Foundation enrichment classes.
Full Return to School
A recent parent survey indicated that 99% plan to have their children return to ESUSD in a traditional classroom environment, attending school full time five days a week. As we do return to full time on campus, ESUSD will continue to follow the most recent Los Angeles County Department of Public Health order directives. In addition, I am pleased to share the Board of Education approved the allocation of COVID-19 relief funds to hire additional teachers next year to reduce class size in fourth and fifth grade as well as English and Math classes for sixth through twelfth grade, when at all possible. Of course, we will also maintain the reduced class size for Transitional Kindergarten through third grade classes.
This is the time of year to remain on the lookout for school and district communications. Educational Services will be sending out an important update this week as well as the Enrollment Student Information and Agreement Review. Each school principal will also be sending out a comprehensive bulletin with all the necessary information later this month. Principals will be sure to include their school’s regular bell schedule. In addition, for the 2021-22 school year, lunch will be offered free to all students.
Masks Required Indoors for K-12 Schools
Recently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the K-12 COVID 19 School Guidance for the 2021-22 school year, which includes a Mask Mandate summarized here:
What is the California Department of Public Health Mask Mandate?
- Masks are optional outdoors for all in K-12 school settings.
- K-12 students are required to mask indoors, with exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance.
- Adults in K-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students.
- Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition must wear a nonrestrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it. Face covering requirements are mandated for all school buses and any vehicle affiliated with the district used to transport students, staff, or teachers to and/or from a school site or school related activity.
- All administrators, teachers, and classified staff must return to wearing a face covering in accordance with the third point above when sharing indoor spaces with students.
The Mask Mandate is not discretionary for California K-12 Districts. Per the CDPH directive, school districts must require that all students and staff wear face coverings at all times when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. All K-12 districts in the state must comply with this mandatory requirement. It is important to note that at this time, COVID-19 testing of students is not mandated by Public Health and ESUSD has no intention to implement student testing, unless it is mandated in the future by Public Health. We will continue to encourage families to carefully monitor any symptoms and pursue Covid testing as appropriate. Thank you for understanding and continuing to wear your mask while on school campuses, even if you are vaccinated.
Independent Study Learning for Fall
We understand each family situation is unique and that some families may prefer to continue having their child attend an educational alternative. Thus, ESUSD offers an independent study option to students who are not ready or able to return to the classroom, as determined by the parent or guardian. Enrollment for the program took place in July. If your personal circumstances have changed, you should contact your school’s principal to discuss if Independent Study is an appropriate option for your child. ESUSD staffed Independent Study based upon enrollment, so the Independent Study teacher is assigned students from multiple-grade levels and must follow the mandated program requirements.
If you received this communication, it is ESUSD’s understanding your child will be returning to school August 25th or will be joining ESUSD as a new enrollee. If you have made other educational plans for your child and do not plan to attend school in ESUSD, please reach out to the school your child attends right away and inform them. In closing, the Board of Education and I are eager to have our students, staff and families return to school August 25th. Thank you for your unwavering support and partnership! We are confident that a brighter future lies ahead.
Melissa Moore, Ed.D.
El Segundo Unified School District