COVID-19 Updates

Poly is working closely with local health organizations, the Pasadena Public Health Department, and following the guidelines of the CDC regarding COVID-19 in our communities. Please know that the health and well-being of Poly and our neighboring communities is very important to us. And so we have made a space to keep the information you may need in one place.

This page will have all of Poly's updates regarding the COVID-19 precautions that have been put in place at this time. Please come back to check for any updates to the Poly community.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Dear Poly community,

I begin by thanking you for your generosity and support over the last few months. Since March 13, our classrooms, offices, and homes have been reimagined and transformed to support our students and each other. We learned a lot about what is essential and important in our lives, and we found innovative ways to build and celebrate our community. Watching and participating in the end-of-year celebrations reassured me that our work together has deepened our commitment to each other and to our school, and we will emerge stronger as we return to campus this fall.

Planning for 2020-21 School Year
Our Return-to-School Steering Committee and associated task forces have been hard at work over the past few weeks. While no final decisions have been made, we have clarity on our approach to prepare for the 2020-21 school year. The health and well-being of our students, our families, and the faculty and staff remains the highest priority in our decision-making. The integrity of our K-12 program and the student experience is also an essential element in our design and implementation of plans. With this in mind, here are key considerations that guide our planning:

  • Decision-making at the national, state, and local levels is fractured, highly-charged, and increasingly political. Science and facts are no longer the primary drivers. As difficult as it has been, we recognize that uncertainty about the foreseeable future will continue;

  • Poly’s commitment to its mission, PolyHonor, equity and inclusion, and health and safety will be reflected in the decisions we make. Trust in each other to abide by health and safety guidelines will be a critical component;

  • As schools reopen around the world, we are privy to a wealth of experience and innovative design. However, there is still not enough data to inform us of which models have been effective at containing the spread of coronavirus;

  • The recently released California Department of Health Guidelines for Schools and School-Based Programs is designed to assist school and community leaders to “plan and prepare to resume in-person instruction.” While the local interpretation of this document is forthcoming, this guidance serves as a framework for our planning; 

  • One central protocol that has not changed is the importance of 6-foot physical distancing within classrooms and campus spaces. We believe it is highly unlikely that this guidance will change in the near future; 

  • With the health and safety of our faculty and students at the center of our decision-making, the ability to stay nimble and pivot, as needed, between in-person and distance learning is crucial. 
Return-to-School Scenario
As we head into the summer and build upon our plans for the opening of school in August, we expect the most likely scenario will entail:

  • All Lower School students will be on-campus daily, although with smaller class-sizes, established cohorts, and more structured movement between classes;

  • The Middle School and Upper School will need to reduce the density of students on-campus at any time by approximately 50%. The division directors and task forces are connecting with counterparts to gain insights on various models and approaches implemented by national and international schools. Research and recommendations will be shared with the Return-to-School Steering Committee;  

  • Appropriate health and safety protocols will be in place. For example, Magnus Health is developing a daily health-check feature to their app. We have installed additional handwashing stations at the Lower School, and hand-sanitizers will be present in every classroom and at all school entrances/exits; 
  • We are also exploring options for students who are not able to be on-campus for in-person instruction.

While there are a number of unknowns and a lot of work ahead of us, I intend to send an update about our Return-to-School plans at the end of June and again in July. The division directors will also be in touch during the upcoming months with pertinent information in preparation for the start of the school year.  

I am hopeful that the summer will provide you and your family opportunities to reflect and rejuvenate which will do us all well. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to share.

Be well,
John Bracker
Head of School
Polytechnic School | 1030 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106 | Phone 626.396.6300 | Fax 626.796.2249
© All Rights Reserved. Polytechnic School.