Head of School Communications

November 10, 2020

 

Update From The Head of School

 

Dear High Point Community,

 

As previously announced, the Pasadena and California Public Health Departments approved High Point’s waiver application for kindergarten-2nd grade in-person instruction. Currently, in Los Angeles County (including the Pasadena area) a waiver for in-person instruction is available only for TK/Kindergarten-2nd Grade students. I am pleased to share recent developments regarding the return of kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students to campus for in-person instruction.

 

Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grade Students’ Return to Campus For In-Person instruction

 

To ensure a seamless and successful return to campus, High Point is undertaking a phased approach to reintroducing kindergarten-2nd grade students to campus for in-person instruction. I wish to emphasize that a robust and engaging remote learning program will continue to be offered for kindergarten-2nd grade families who select this option.

 

Our kindergarten students returned to campus for in-person instruction starting on November 2nd. Welcoming our kindergarteners back to campus was a tremendous celebration and a remarkable milestone. Kindergarteners’ return to campus marked the first time High Point has been authorized to hold in-person instruction since mid-March. The first week of kindergarten in-person instruction was a resounding success and a sight to behold as our youngest students experienced the joy of learning. At the conclusion of kindergarteners’ first day on campus, one kindergartener remarked, “I wish this day never ended.”

 

Continuing with our phased-in approach, 1st grade students will return to campus for in-person instruction on December 7th followed by 2nd grade students on December 9th. I am grateful to our dedicated kindergarten-2nd grade teachers and administrative team for their unwavering commitment and collaboration in planning and orchestrating a successful transition to campus.

 

Compliance with High Point’s “Guidelines For a Safe Return to Campus: 2020-2021 Academic Year” is essential to facilitate a successful and sustainable return to on campus, in-person instruction. All families and students are required to follow High Point’s established protocols, guidelines, and rules including the following:

 

  • Cohorting guidelines specified in the Reopening Protocols and State Guidance (students will remain in the same cohorts during in-person instruction)
  • School Reopening Protocols set forth by Pasadena and California public health officials
  • Masks required

 

Junior High (7th and 8th Grade) Wellness Through Fitness Program

 

We are happy to announce High Point recently gained approval from the Pasadena Public Health Department under the youth sports guidance provision for junior high (7th and 8th grade) students to return to campus once a week from 1-3 pm for a Wellness Through Fitness Program as an extension of junior high’s Wellness Wednesday offerings. Starting in mid-November, this program offers a safe opportunity for students to engage in physical outdoor activity in cohorts of 12 or fewer, connect with their fellow classmates, and enjoy the beauty of our campus. All students and faculty participating in the Wellness Through Fitness Program will comply with all pertinent health and safety guidelines and protocol. A special thanks to Colleen Zeiss, Gint Valiulis, and the junior high faculty for envisioning and coordinating this important program. We will be exploring similar Wellness Through Fitness plans for our 3rd-6th grade students in the future.

 

Current COVID-19 Metrics in Los Angeles County

 

Los Angeles County has recently experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases. Los Angeles County remains in Tier 1 (the most restrictive tier) due to its adjusted daily case rate. As of October 24th, the current adjusted daily case rate is 7.5 cases per 100,000 residents. Per the State guidelines, to transition to Tier 2, the County’s case rate needs to be 7 or fewer new cases a day per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks. The County’s test positivity rate is 4%, well below the 8% threshold for Tier 1. In addition to the daily case rate per 100,000 and the test positivity rate, the State of California added a new third metric (equity metric) to help determine how counties are placed in tiers. The equity metric uses a Health Place Index with numerous indicators based on socioeconomic opportunities. Once LA County transitions to Tier 2, local public health officials could potentially authorize a more comprehensive reopening of schools for in-person instruction in some capacity for 3rd-8th grade students without a waiver.

 

We are excited about the return of kindergarten-2nd grade students to our campus for in-person instruction. We look forward to the opportunity to safely reunite on campus on a grander scale once we receive the necessary authorization from public health officials.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Gary Stern

High Point Academy

Head of School