COVID-19 UPDATES

March 20, 2020

Dear AVUHSD Families,

Today, following Governor Gavin Newsom’s and LA County officials’ announcement Thursday of a new public health order for people to stay home to increase social distancing, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo announced she has extended her recommendation to close all schools in Los Angeles County with students returning on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 to limit the community spread of COVID-19.   
 
We understand how challenging these decisions are for our families and we appreciate your support and patience. We are very grateful for all that our students, staff and parents are doing to support safety, continuity of education and feeding our children.
 
The following information is intended to provide you with more details and support during our extended closure.
 
School Closure Timeline
AVUHSD will close all schools until May 5 in response to the COVID-19 emergency. We will continue to provide updates via email, app and social media as this situation evolves.
 
Food Service Distribution
The Public Health guidelines provide for the continuation of our food service program.  Click here for a complete list of times and locations.

Continuity of Learning
Our team has worked diligently over the past two weeks developing a plan that will allow all students to continue their learning. Our teachers are eager to share distance learning assignments for students which will be available no later than April 2.  The most common platform our teachers will use is Google Classroom. All students readily have access to the Google Classroom through their Powerschool sign-on which is already familiar to many students.  Further information, including options for students without access to technology/connectivity and those in need of additional supports, will be forthcoming.

Prevention
Please continue to take all possible precautions to help reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. DPH recommends everyday personal prevention actions:  

  • If you are sick or mildly sick for any reason, stay home! Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen.
  • Symptoms to watch for include a fever over 100 degrees; respiratory illness such as cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay 6 feet or more away from strangers and those who are ill
  • Stop shaking hands with others to reduce the spread of germs
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue

As parents and caregivers, you influence your child’s reaction to information about COVID-19 and school closure. Ongoing developments regarding COVID-19 may be overwhelming, especially to younger children. Parents and caregivers can help children understand the situation better by discussing children’s questions and concerns. You can watch a video about how to talk to your child about COVID-19 here.
 
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Department of Public Health’s website. For general information about COVID-19, LA County residents can also call 2-1-1.
 
Again, I sincerely appreciate your support and patience during this time.  Please take care of yourself and loved ones.

Sincerely,

David J. Vierra,  Ph.D.

March 18, 2020

Good Evening AVUHSD Families,  

We understand that Governor Newsom’s comments regarding the potential for a long term closure of schools yesterday evening may have heightened your concerns and caused further uncertainty.  We are continuing to work daily with the Los Angeles County Office of Education in monitoring this situation.  At this time, we have not received further guidance to extend our school closure; however, we remain committed to communicating with you as information continues to develop.  

Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received:

Q:  Will schools provide distance learning during the closure?

A:  While we are continuing to develop plans for distance learning, the District remains dedicated to ensuring educational excellence for every student. Details specific to distance learning will be included in our next communication.  In the meantime, please find enrichment resources below. These are not intended to be a replacement for classroom instruction, but can provide enrichment opportunities for your student:

Ted-Ed
TED-Ed is an award-winning education platform that serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week.  These videos and lessons address a wide range of subjects from Science to Art to Social-Emotional Learning.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy provides custom free online lessons and practice. In addition, our district has provided the PSAT to all of our students for the past few years.  Not only does this test help students to prepare for the SAT and towards College and Career Readiness, but it also customizes learning activities that are aligned to our academic standards.  

Naviance
Naviance is a comprehensive college and career readiness solution for middle and high schools that helps align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals, and improve student outcomes. The tools in the system help students refine their goals with support from teachers, counselors, and families.  Students can access Naviance through their PowerSchool sign-on.

Q:  How long will schools be closed?

A:  At this time our schools are closed through April 3, 2020.  

Q: Will the District provide meals for students during the closure?

A:  All children under the age of 18 and those persons over age 18 who meet the CDE’s definition of having a mental or physical disability can receive a take-home breakfast and lunch “Drive-Thru” style in the main parking lot(s) from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at any of the following school sites:

  • Antelope Valley High School
  • Eastside High School
  • Highland High School
  • Knight High School
  • Lancaster High School
  • Littlerock High School
  • Quartz Hill High School
  • Palmdale High School

Please note, additional locations are available at our neighboring elementary districts.  You can find a list of those sites below.

Q:  What happens to my student’s 3rd Quarter grades?

A:  We adjusted the end of Quarter 3 from March 20 to March 13. We recognize your student may have outstanding assignments and our staff will be flexible in accepting assignments.

Q:  I have an incoming Freshman.  How and when can I enroll my student?

A:  We have temporarily suspended all registration activities.  We are looking at alternative ways to register our incoming freshman.  Information will be forthcoming.

Q:  I applied for Open Enrollment.  When will I be notified if I am accepted?

A:  We are still on track to make notifications in late April/early May.

As a reminder, please do not forget to follow these procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Thank you again for your patience and support during this time.

David J. Vierra, Ph.D.

March 16, 2020

Good Evening AVUHSD Families,

First, I want to acknowledge the challenges that exist within our community at this time. Thank you for your patience and support during this extraordinary time of uncertainty as we navigate our response to the coronavirus COVID-19 situation.

The following information is being provided to you as guidance for how we will be proceeding over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 17 - Friday, April 3
During this time, all schools, activities, including athletic events and practices, are suspended.

Below you’ll find the answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received thus far:

Q:  Will the District provide meals for students during the closure?
A: All children under the age of 18 and those persons over age 18 who meet the CDE’s definition of having a mental or physical disability can receive a take-home breakfast and lunch “Drive-Thru” style in the main parking lot(s) from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at any of the following school sites:

  • Antelope Valley High School
  • Eastside High School
  • Highland High School
  • Knight High School
  • Lancaster High School
  • Littlerock High School
  • Quartz Hill High School
  • Palmdale High School

Q:  Will the school year be extended beyond June 4 due to this closure?
A:  At this time, we do not anticipate extending the school year.

Q: Will schools provide online/distance learning during the closure?
A:  The District is currently exploring appropriate solutions.  Information will be forthcoming.

Q:  Will school activities like athletics, prom, senior events, graduation be canceled/postponed?
A:  At this time, only activities from March 17 to April 3 have been suspended.  

Q:  Will Advanced Placement (AP) testing still take place?
A:  At this time, there is no plan to cancel testing.  You can find updates from College Board here.

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. All communications will be sent via email, posted on the District website and App, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

In closing, please do not forget to follow these procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

I appreciate your patience and commitment during this trying time. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.

David J. Vierra, Ph.D.

March 13, 2020

Dear AVUHSD Parents and Students,

We are continuing to navigate an unprecedented public health crisis in our community, our state and much of the world.

Since the COVID-19 Coronavirus first emerged, we have followed the guidance of the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the California Department of Public Health in making preventative changes in our schools and programs. As this situation continues to evolve, the Los Angeles County Office of Education has now recommended school closures throughout Los Angeles County.

The Antelope Valley Union High School District will extend spring break, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 with a plan for students to return to schools on Monday, April 6, 2020. During this time, all schools, activities, including athletic events and practices, are cancelled.

We are working on identifying ways to provide meals to students during this time.  Specific  information will be provided through Parent Link email, the AVUHSD App, Facebook and Instagram.

During the break, we encourage everyone in our community to follow recommended practices by avoiding large gatherings, washing hands frequently, and covering mouths when coughing or sneezing. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.

We will continue to monitor this very dynamic public health situation and will plan to provide updates during the course of this extended break. All District correspondence will be sent via email, posted on our app and our website, as well as posted on our District Facebook and Instagram pages.

Thank you for your support and cooperation during this time.

Sincerely,
David J. Vierra, Ph.D.

March 12, 2020

Good Afternoon AVUHSD Community,

As you are likely aware, updated recommendations have come forward from the Governor’s office, the Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education regarding Coronavirus COVID-19.  This morning District leadership met to consider these current recommendations and enact a plan with the primary objective of ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff as it relates to the Coronavirus COVID-19.

To date, the District has taken the following actions:

  • Convened a District team to monitor the progression of this virus
  • Hourly monitoring of restroom supplies
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols throughout all District campuses and offices
  • Authorized overtime for after school disinfecting

At this time, our schools remain open and we continue to provide classroom-based educational learning experiences from zero period through seventh period.  However, based on the updated recommendations, the District will take the following additional measures effective immediately, and through April 3, 2020:

  • Suspend all extra-curricular events/activities on District campuses
  • Suspend all conferences/professional development
  • Suspend all travel both in and out of state
  • Suspend all athletic competitions and practices

I understand there are concerns about school closure.  At this time, school closure is not recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) for any AVUHSD school sites.  The Los Angeles County Office of Education’s guidance is to only close a school at the direction of the LADPH.

These decisions were made with thoughtful and thorough consideration, taking into account recommendations from local, state and national health organizations.  I am committed to monitoring, evaluating and communicating regularly as we navigate this current health situation.

For up-to-date information, please click here for the California Department of Public Health Coronavirus web page.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

David J. Vierra, Ph.D.

March 10, 2020

Dear AVUHSD Community,

We are continuing to monitor the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and wanted to provide another update.  We understand the concern in the community and want to assure you that the District is taking appropriate proactive measures, and we continue to work closely with the California Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Office of Education.

The District has established a team with the primary objective of ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff as it relates to the Coronavirus COVID-19.  This team has reviewed, updated and is ready to implement protocols should a student or staff member be diagnosed with Coronavirus COVID-19.  In addition, the District has established enhanced cleaning protocols to take place after school hours at all school sites.  Specific attention is being dedicated to high-traffic areas and touchpoints including, but not limited to, door handles, desktops, and tables.  

In addition to these measures, the District is actively developing a plan to address the need for continuing education should we be faced with an extended school closure.  It is important to note that the decision to close a school will be made based upon the specific information available at that time and in coordination with the California Department of Public Health.  

As a reminder, if your child is sick, please keep them home from school. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the Coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

For up-to-date information, please click here for the California Department of Public Health Coronavirus web page.

We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Dear AVUHSD Community,

As you are likely aware, this week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) held a press conference to address concerns and provide an update related to the Coronavirus.  While the CDC’s comments have generated a lot of concern, it is important to note there is still a very low health risk to the general public in California. We want to assure you that our District has a protocol in place to respond to any notification that a student or staff member has been diagnosed with an infectious disease.   In light of the Coronavirus, that protocol was recently reviewed and updated by our staff.

As a reminder, if your child is sick, please keep them home from school. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the Coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips:
•    Stay home when you are sick.
•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an     alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
•    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
•    Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
•    Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

We understand that there is a great amount of concern in the community regarding this virus. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are our highest priority. We are taking all appropriate measures and working closely with the Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Please refer to the Public Health Coronavirus web page here for information and resources.

We thank you for your cooperation and support.