Return to Campus - Parent and Community Update (March 2021)

  • Community and Parents

Dear Westside Parents and Community Members,

We are pleased to let you know that an agreement has been reached between the District and Westside Union Teachers Association that will allow our elementary schools to reopen under the current health orders in our state and county.  These health orders require that students must wear masks, maintain a 6 foot distance from others, wash their hands frequently, and remain with their cohort (stable group) for the duration of time on campus.

The schedule of return for students is as follows:

  • 1st grade students--Monday, March 15th
  • 2nd grade students--Tuesday, March 16th
  • 3rd grade students--Monday, April 5th
  • 4th grade students--Wednesday, April 7th
  • 5th grade students--Monday, April 12th
  • 6th grade students--Wednesday, April 14th (this does not include 6th middle school students)

Students will be served in either an AM or PM cohort, which will be covered by our site principals in their information to parents, as each school has variations in their arrival and departure times.  In-person classes will take place Monday-Thursday, with Friday being a distance learning day.  Students should not bring food with them to school as they will not have recess or lunch breaks, but water is appreciated.  All of our water fountains have been disabled for health reasons, so we want to be sure our students can remain hydrated.  Students will be provided necessary classroom supplies, so they should not need to bring those items with them to school, and please remind your children that they may not share anything they bring to school with other students. 

As with the return of the TK/K and mild/moderate special education students who attend special day classes, our site principals and their staff members have been contacting you regarding whether you’d prefer your children to remain on distance learning or return to the hybrid service model on campus. We will do our best to put siblings on the same schedules.  To participate in on-campus instruction, students must be dropped off and picked up on time without exception. Our staff members leave their drop-off duty to take students to class and are not present to accept late arrivals.  They also leave pick-up duty to help prepare our classrooms for the 2nd cohort, so your cooperation on this issue is most critical.  If timeliness is an issue for your family, please elect to have your children remain on distance learning. 

Checking into School

Our experience with the groups that have returned to in person instruction has indicated that especially in the morning, some students are bundled to stay warm, sit in a heated car, and then when we take their temperature, they run a fever.  We are recommending that if that is the situation when your child arrives at school that you pull into one of our parking spaces, allow time for your children to cool down, then get in line for their temperature to be taken.  Because our time is limited getting the students admitted to school at the beginning of the day, we can only take your children’s temperature once.  If they are running a fever, they will need to return home and remain home for at least 3 days.  So your help with this issue that we’ve already noted, would be helpful.  We all want our students to be with the classes in as safe a situation as we can make it, and it starts with our beginning of the day admission to the campus. 

StopIt Screener

Admission at the beginning of every day will be done with the Stop It Screener Program that we are using.  You are encouraged to start using it a few days before your children are to start back to school.  This will again help make our beginning of school go smoother.  Directions for the use of this program can be found on our website.  Please do your best to familiarize yourself with this process. 

State Testing

You will be receiving a letter from your children’s school principal about the annual State Testing program, which is being required this year.  If you have any questions about the testing process after reading this letter, please contact the staff at your children’s school.

Kindergarten Roundup

Our elementary schools will be hosting online Kindergarten Roundup days so that new students can begin the registration process for the 21-22 school year.  Please check both the District and school websites for the dates. 

Transfers

If you are interested in having your children attend a school other than the one they are zoned to attend, you can complete an intra-district transfer online.  If you are interested in our schools of choice such as The IDEA Academy at Cottonwood, Gregg Anderson Academy or the 6th grade Honors Academy at either HIllview of Joe Walker Middle School, you will need to participate in this transfer process and in some instances it will require submission of additional documents.  Please check the website for information

For the 21-22 school year, those students who were waitlisted at either The IDEA Academy at Cottonwood or Gregg Anderson Academy, parents will need to complete a new intra-district transfer, but will hold their waitlist position from the 20-21 school year as we did not admit anyone from the waitlist this school year due to COVID-19 conditions.  If you have any questions about this change for this year only, please contact staff at the District Office. 

Vaccines

Our staff members are now able to receive the vaccine for COVID-19 which was a concern we’ve had for some time.  We are thankful that the LA County Department of Public Health with direction from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have now prioritized making the vaccine more accessible for our staff.

Thank you for all of your patience and cooperation as we prepare to have some of our students arrive back to school  The staff and I are very excited to see and hear children back on our campus, but want to make sure that we do our best to ensure that our schools continue to be safe places for our students and staff.  Your help is critical as always, and we know that you will help us in our quest to make the 4th quarter of the school year exceptional. 

I appreciate all that our community has done to provide our students with the best education possible this school year, and am thankful for the support from our labor partners to return to in-person learning for our students.  Thanks to our Board of Trustees who have been steadfast in wanting to make this an achievable option amidst some difficult hurdles to overcome.

 

Sincerely,

Regina L. Rossall
Superintendent

  • COVID-19
  • Parents
  • School Reopening