Dear Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) Staff, Students, Families and Community:
In our continued commitment to serving our community and providing current information, we have some important updates in this week’s message.
Over the past year and a half, we have been inspired by how our community has come together to rise to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Monday, August 23, 2021, is the first day of the 2021-2022 academic year. We are so excited to welcome back our returning students and families and look forward to meeting those who are newly joining the Inglewood Unified family. We are proud of our faculty and staff for their perseverance in preparing for the new school year, grateful for the patience and cooperation of our families, and inspired by our students’ enthusiasm and excitement to get back to school.
As we reopen our schools for in-person instruction this school year, we want you to know that the health and safety of our students, staff, families and community is our top priority. We will continue to regularly meet and provide updates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), so that the safety on all our campuses is maintained. We have prepared a checklist of information you need to know prior to the start of school. This information includes Inglewood Unified School District guidelines, and protocols recommended by the LACDPH. These important updates, protocols and guidelines will serve as an essential component to ensuring the health and safety of our school community for the duration of the new school year.
Masks: Masks should be worn at school at all times (indoors and outdoors), except when students are eating or drinking or carrying out activities that preclude the use of a face mask. Should a student need a mask for any reason, one will be provided for them. Alternative protections may be allowed for students with disabilities or those needing accommodations. Make sure your child has a clean face mask to bring to campus.
Health Screening: Pre-Screening at home. Health and safety starts at home, if your child is not feeling well please keep your child home. Every morning please conduct the following pre-screen questionnaire:
Do you have a fever of 100.4°F or higher?
Do you have a new onset cough or shortness of breath?
Do you have any of the following symptoms; sore throat, chills, headache, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell?
Have you had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19?
Physical Distancing: Currently the LACDPH does not have a social distancing practice. However, we will continue to enforce social distancing when feasible.
Hand washing and hand sanitizing: Review and practice proper hand washing and hand sanitizing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, and coughing. In addition, sanitation stations are available at school site campuses and classrooms.
School District Staff: Formal screening for all school and district staff will occur at the entry points of all district facilities. We will ask staff to conduct a COVID-19 health screen prior to visiting our facilities and we will take their temperature upon arrival.
Visitors: We are gradually allowing visitors to return to campus; however, our priority is returning students to full-time, in-person learning, but we look forward to eventually welcoming our parent volunteers back on campus.
Air Filtration/Classroom Ventilation: IUSD has upgraded all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units. Additionally, every classroom has been allocated an air purifier.
Reporting: We are extremely grateful for the collective effort from IUSD staff and leadership from Chief Operating Officer, Norberto Perez. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mr. Perez has managed the COVID-19 mitigation process and practices. He regularly meets with LACDPH officials and is highly skilled at managing all COVID-19 reporting and contact tracing processes.
Vaccinations: Vaccinations have been proven safe and effective for anyone age 12 and older. Vaccines are an important part of protecting yourself and others. While vaccines are not required for staff or students, we strongly encourage all eligible community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics will be hosted at each school site on a rotating schedule beginning the second week of the school year.
The vaccine clinics are open to staff, students, families, and community members
Each site will host two vaccine clinics:
COVID-19 Testing: Through grant funding from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), the District will implement onsite weekly COVID-19 testing for staff and students through our partnership with testing laboratories. This component of our mitigation strategy will add another layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19.
Our COVID-19 testing teams will visit each site once per week. A team will visit each classroom and call small groups of 3-5 students at a time into the hallway to perform a cheek swab PCR test. We anticipate that the process will take 30-60 seconds per participant by the third week of implementation. The staff member, if unvaccinated, will complete their test while the team is testing their students.
Participants will receive direct notification of their results within 24 hours. Participants must complete an initial online registration, which includes providing health insurance information, if applicable.
IUSD Meal Program and Food Distribution:
In- Person Instruction: Meal distribution will return to normal and students will receive breakfast and lunch during the regular school day, at no charge for all students! Staff will continue to wear masks and gloves during distribution of meals. Meals will be provided in the cafeteria, but students may eat and drink outdoors if available.
Independent Study: The District will distribute 5-Day Grocery Kits only for students enrolled in Independent Studies. When filling out the independent study form, the parent will select a distribution site to pick up the Grocery Kit meals. Once a parent selects a site, the student’s information will be routed to the Food Services Department, and will be placed on a roster at said distribution site. Parents will only be able to pick up the meals at the distribution site selected.
New Supper Program: Effective September 7, 2021, the District will begin to provide supper to our IUSD students, free of charge! Supper will include the 5 basic components of a meal (Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein, Dairy). Supper will be available as a grab and go meal when students leave for the day. If they participate in ASES, they will receive a warm meal provided at the school site.
As LACDPH makes substantive changes to their guidelines and protocols, we will share this information with staff and families in a timely manner. Please continue to help us minimize the spread of COVID-19 by doing your share at home, on the weekends, and before sending your child(ren) to school. We were successful in the spring and the summer with minimizing the spread and returning our students to campus and there is no doubt that we can achieve the same positive outcome as we fully reopen our campuses for in-person learning on August, 23, 2021. Thank you for your continued support as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, families and community. We can’t wait to see you!
Thank you staff, parents, students, and community members for your ongoing support and commitment to the success of our district.
Erika F. Torres, Ed.D., MSW