District COVID-19 Updates

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Thanksgiving Letter – November 20

Dear LMSV Families,

One of my favorite books to read with my kids has been “How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids.” The message of the book is that we fill another’s bucket when we encourage, love, and support them. We empty another’s bucket when we judge, insult, and disregard them. As we all know, our buckets are also drained when we experience hardship and loss. We are all too familiar with the empty-bucket feelings of sadness, loneliness, and frustration. People desperately need the full-bucket feelings of love, support, and belonging. In this pandemic, I know that so many feel like their buckets are emptier than they’ve ever been. 

When I was growing up, each year on Thanksgiving, my grandpa had a tradition of going around the table and asking all of us (cousins, aunts, uncles, moms, and dads), one-by-one, to share something we were thankful for. When I was a teenager I was “too cool” and couldn’t stand this part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition (I thought it was too cliche), but it stuck with me, and I grew to love it as I got older. Each year I find myself reflecting more and more on all that I have to be thankful for. My grandpa passed away last month (at 96 years old), and I am taking comfort in this memory of him. 

In the spirit of my grandpa’s tradition, we want to say how grateful we are for our school communities. These past few months, we have watched as so many of our educators, principals, and our parents have emptied themselves to fill the buckets of others. We are just blown away by the selflessness we have seen demonstrated by those who are in the midst of unthinkable loss and suffering, and yet, they continue to work tirelessly to fill the buckets of others. We are truly grateful for the love of the La Mesa-Spring Valley community and the unwavering commitment to encourage, serve, and support others despite the unprecedented nature of this time. The heart of this community fills our buckets again and again. 

We want to wish you a love-filled and peaceful Thanksgiving. If you are gathering with loved ones outside of your home, please be safe. We are anxiously awaiting the day when we can all be together again. 

Gratefully Yours,

David Feliciano
Superintendent, La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools

Parent Letter – November 10

Dear LMSV Families,

I’m sorry to report that we received official word that San Diego county has moved into the most restrictive tier on the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” weekly report of COVID-19 risk levels by county.  The new “purple tier” designation means La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will not be permitted to open our campuses for in-person instruction until the county returns to the red tier and remains there for at least 14 days.  If the county’s COVID-19 rates were to improve immediately, the soonest schools would be permitted to open is the middle of December. That would mean the first day of hybrid learning would likely be in early January.

Since early October, our schools have been serving students with the highest need in small groups, based on their capacity to do so; this move into the purple tier will not limit or restrict our ability to serve students in small groups. Though our schools are not permitted to transition to in-person learning until the county moves into the red tier, we will continue to serve students in small groups as we are now, as is permitted by the California Department of Public Health

We know this news is very disappointing. We have been working diligently to create and implement plans to reopen our campuses safely and we are disappointed as well. We know you have been planning for this return and that these new restrictions may have a ripple effect on jobs, child care arrangements, and more. We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with state and county health officials as we move forward. We will also continue to share updates as they become available. Please know that we will transition to in-person/hybrid learning as soon as we are permitted to do so.

As we move into the holiday season, even in times of change and challenge, we are reminded how grateful we are for all of you. We continue to be in this together. Please know how much we miss our students.  We are looking forward to the day when we are able to welcome our students back on campus with open arms.

Gratefully Yours,

David Feliciano, Superintendent
La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools


Parent Letter – November 6

Dear LMSV Families,

The weekly “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” report of county COVID-19 risk levels was released yesterday.  San Diego County’s adjusted case rate for the week is 7.4. If next week’s case rate is above 7.0, the county will be placed in the purple tier and we will not be permitted to begin hybrid learning on November 30. This is because the county must remain in the purple tier for at least 3 weeks before it can move out of it. The county must then be in the red tier for an additional 14 days before schools would be permitted to reopen again. This means that the soonest restrictions could be lifted on schools is five weeks after the county moves into the purple tier (if it does). 

Nonetheless, we are continuing with our plans for hybrid learning with the hope that future case rates decline. Sadly, the county is reporting that COVID-19 cases have increased since the last report. However, if the county remains in the red tier, we will begin hybrid learning on November 30. We have been working on plans to meet our student’s academic needs in person with health and safety as our number one priority.  Below is an overview of the health and safety precautions and procedures we have put in place once schools reopen for hybrid learning. We are providing this information so you know what to expect once our schools reopen. 

Health and Safety Precautions

  • All students will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival. This will include, but is not limited to:
    • A temperature screening 
    • A visual wellness check of the child(ren)
    • A brief questionnaire: How are you feeling? Is anyone sick at home?

The screening allows us to identify what children will not be able to stay at school. If a student must go home and the parent has already left or the student has walked or been bussed to school, the student will be placed in a designated isolation area and parent or guardian will be contacted for immediate pickup. 

  • Should a child become ill during the school day, an authorized person will be contacted to pick-up the child(ren) immediately. The child will be placed in a designated and supervised isolation area while awaiting pick up. Please make sure that all contact information is current.
  • Adults are required to wear a face covering when picking up or dropping off your student(s), and any time you visit campus.
  • Face coverings are required for all staff and students unless they meet criteria for exemption as outlined in the CA Dept of Health’s Guidance for Face Coverings. Children can bring their own face covering from home or the school site will provide one for them. Personal cloth face coverings should be washed daily.
  • Staff and students will be practicing proper handwashing, hand sanitization, and physical distancing.
  • We ask that you limit the number of personal belongings your child brings to school. Their district-issued learning device should be brought to school each day and should be fully charged. If your student has used a personal device for distance learning, we will provide a device for them to use while at school; they should not bring their personal device to campus. 
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day, and any shared items will be cleaned between uses.  
  • Classrooms and restrooms will be disinfected daily. 

When to Keep Your Student Home and Notify the Health Office

  • If student has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, unexpected muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose not due to a normal condition such as allergies, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell)
  • If student has a confirmed positive PCR COVID-19 viral test 
  • If, in the previous 14 days, student has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-9.

Guidelines for Return to School

Per County Health Guidelines, the length of time your student must remain out of school depends on several factors, including whether or not a COVID test is done, and the results of the COVID test. 

If your child does not get a COVID-19 testIf your child gets a COVID-19 test and the test result is NEGATIVEIf your child gets a COVID-19 test and the test result is POSITIVEIf your child is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Your child may return to school when: 
At least 10 days have passed since the day your child’s symptom(s) started
AND
All of the symptoms are gone or improving
AND
Your child has been free of fever without using fever-reducing medicines in the 24 hours prior to returning to school.
Your child may return to school:
With written proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 viral test
AND
When ALL symptoms have been completely gone for 72 hours. 

If symptoms are still present 10 days after they first appeared, the child may return as long as symptoms are improving and child has been free of fever without using fever-reducing medicines in the 24 hours prior to returning to school.
Your child may return to school:
When at least 10 days have passed since the day your child’s symptom(s) started
AND
All of the symptoms are gone or improving.
AND
Your child has been free of fever without using fever-reducing medicines in the 24 hours prior to returning to school.

**Contact your school’s health technician immediately if your child has a positive test. 
Your child may return to school 14 days after the last close contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19.
If symptoms develop during this time, your child may return when: 

At least 10 days have passed since the day your child’s symptom(s) started
AND
All of the symptoms are gone or improving 
AND
Your child has been free of fever without using fever-reducing medicines in the 24 hours prior to returning to school.

We anticipate that as each school implements its new procedures, they may find ways to change and streamline the process, so you should expect to hear from your school principal about changes along the way. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these new procedures together in service of the health and safety of your students. Thank you in advance for your help in keeping our schools as safe as possible for all students and staff. We truly hope to see you soon!
Warm Regards,

Deann Ragsdale, Assistant Superintendent
Educational Services


Parent Letter – October 23


Dear LMSV Families,

A mainstay of our new reality in California is the weekly “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” report of COVID-19 risk levels by county. This week, as San Diego County’s case rate began to rise again, Dr. Wooten (the county’s public health officer) warned that we are in danger of moving into the purple tier if rates continue to rise. While we are watching this carefully and monitoring the county’s status, we also want to reassure you that we are continuing with our reopening plans and progress. At this time, there is no evidence that the current rise in COVID-19 rates is disproportionately impacting our community (unlike the SDSU outbreak). As long as the county remains in the red tier, we intend to open our schools for hybrid instruction on November 30 as planned. 

Last week, we finalized our reopening survey to ensure that each family committed to either continue to learn online or to return to school in a hybrid model. At this time, 60% of our families have selected hybrid learning, and 40% have chosen to remain online. Now that each school has this information, our principals are working with their staff to plan how classes will be arranged once school reopens.  Our schools and teachers have been working tirelessly on this next phase.

Each school has completed a COVID-19 prevention plan, and they have established site-specific procedures that align with the California Department of Public Health’s guidance for reopening schools. These procedures will help ensure that students are supported and safe as they return to our campuses. You will notice increased signage and reminders from your school about new health and safety protocols as you enter campuses.  You will also hear from your site principal about the procedure on your campus for screening to ensure that each child is healthy each day upon arrival to school. You can access COVID-19 prevention plans on your school’s website.

As we continue to plan for reopening, we want you to know that we can offer support if your child is struggling.  We have a team of counselors and social workers who can support with strategies for success, especially when children are disengaged from learning. Please reach out to your child’s principal if you need help.

We know how difficult this has been for everyone. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some have lost jobs and homes. All of our lives have been turned upside down by this crisis. We are living this with you. Please know that we are here to support you. 

Gratefully Yours, 

David Feliciano, Superintendent
La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools


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