Letter from Superintendent Patterson Regarding Coronavirus

Dear EWCSD Community-

First of all I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the calm, caring and supportive manner that our community has demonstrated as we all deal with the extremely sensitive and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. We have been carefully monitoring the media, public health warnings and various communications from the Los Angeles County Office of Education as well as the California Department of Education. We have sent out two detailed communications to our community, one on March 3rd and the other on March 11th. However, there have been significant developments in that short twenty-four hour period. Below are the specific steps we are taking as a District to support our students, staff and community at large.

Earlier this morning I spoke with each principal individually to discuss the precautions we are going to implement (beginning today) to once again reassure our students, staff and community that we are doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of everyone in EWCSD. While I am sure that the list below is not exhaustive and there will be more items we will need to add as time goes on, the intent is to limit to the best of our ability, large groups coming together for any reason (social distancing). To that end, we will be requiring the following changes effective this afternoon:

Field Trips
All field trips will be cancelled, including those that were scheduled for Spring Break. We are working with all of the companies and organizations with whom we have field trips scheduled to seek reimbursement or credits. However, it is in the best interest of our students, staff and chaperones to avoid unnecessary exposure.

School Events
All school assemblies, dances, celebrations, band/orchestra performances, awards ceremonies, science fairs, living museums, talent shows, Saturday School and sports competitions will be cancelled until further notice. We will allow sports practices and after school clubs to continue to operate as long as there are no spectators or outside attendees.

Parent Conferences
As you know we have Parent Conferences and Minimum Days scheduled to begin this coming Monday. We are going to cancel In Person Parent Conferences but keep our Minimum Day schedule. Principals will be working in collaboration with teachers to develop alternate ways to provide families updates regarding student progress including phone calls, emails and video conferencing.

Community Events
While we are extremely appreciative of our amazing PTAs/PTO, we will be canceling all PTA sponsored events such as Book Fairs, Jog-A-Thons and any other special nights. We will also be canceling all Parent Education Workshops including Rio Hondo and Whittier Union High School classes. Due to the small size of our PTA Board Meetings, School Site Councils and English Learners Advisory Councils, those meetings may continue as needed.

Sanitizing of Classrooms and Common Areas
The District has purchased specialized machines that will allow us to sanitize and disinfect each school. We will be able to complete the disinfecting and sanitizing of every room and common area by the end of our Spring Break.

Once again, I want to thank you for the patience, care and support you have provided to one another, our students, our staff and our community. Given that this is an ever changing landscape we have created a specific page on our website to provide updates and information as we receive it. Simply go to ewcsd.org and you will be greeted with a pop-up box asking you if you want to read more about our response to this growing concern.

Marc Patterson