Dear Poly community,
We hope you are enjoying the summer months, staying healthy, and finding time to connect with friends and loved ones. As the calendar flips to August, we wanted to share our current plans for the school opening. Like many schools, Poly is adapting how we operate within a shifting public health landscape to maximize academic and co-curricular programming for all of our students. We are working with public health experts and our medical advisory to ensure a safe opening. This fall, Poly plans to return to our robust educational program to include in-person instruction, athletics, co-curriculars, food service, bus transportation, and afterschool care that follow local and state health protocols.
Poly’s COVID-19 steering committee continues to prioritize community health and our operational decisions remain grounded in guidance
from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and from the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD). Starting this fall, Poly will emphasize and enact the following health guidelines
toward a safe return to campus:
Evidence overwhelmingly shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and prevent serious illness if exposed to the coronavirus. Approximately 95% of Poly faculty and staff have received the vaccine and employees who have not will be strongly encouraged to be vaccinated this fall, with the exception of those who have medical or religious exemptions.
Also, we acknowledge that our students younger than age 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, which gives us greater urgency to protect our most vulnerable students from exposure to COVID-19. We appeal to every eligible student and employee to be vaccinated to protect ourselves, the health of others, especially younger students who do not have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and avoid future restrictions on Poly’s educational program due to cases of infection within our community.
Please be reminded that it is important that the Heath Office receives a copy of every student and employee’s COVID-19 vaccination card.
If you have questions about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, resources and information can be found on the Health Office Resource Board
(MyPoly login required) or contact Marcy Kwitny
or your family’s medical provider.
Universal Masking Indoors
All K-12 students and adults will be required to wear face masks when sharing indoor spaces at Poly. While outdoors, masks are optional though health department guidance recommends wearing them when physical distancing is not feasible or when participating in close contact and high exertion activities. Poly’s steering committee will be evaluating the use of face masks outdoors and will provide an update prior to the start of school.
Last Spring, Poly provided KN95 and 3-layer surgical masks for all employees and students to wear during on-campus activities. Based on data from a Caltech study on high-performing face masks, certain KN95 and 3-ply masks outperformed the sample of other face coverings. In the effort to foster community health, we will expect all students, faculty, and staff to comply and wear these high-performing masks provided by Poly while on campus this year. Information about the distribution of your supply of masks will be communicated in the upcoming weeks by the Health Office.
Hygiene: Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
We will continue to promote and reinforce proper hygiene behaviors such as handwashing throughout the day, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and employees.
Campus Cleaning and Disinfection
Poly will continue to implement diligent campus-wide cleaning and disinfection protocols to effectively maintain a safe teaching, learning, and work environment.
Measures will be taken to exclude any symptomatic student or adult from coming onto campus. Students or adults who become symptomatic during the school day will remain in the isolation room in the Health Office until sent home.
Surveillance Testing and COVID-19 Symptom Screening
Our steering committee is currently in conversation with our medical advisory and public health experts to determine Poly’s efforts to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. We are exploring options for on-campus surveillance testing and daily health screenings and will provide an update to families and employees by mid-August.
By the end of this week, each division director will be in touch with specific information about the start of the school year. We will also send another email communication in mid-August about schoolwide return to campus plans including required health and safety protocols, campus visitor policies, and fall community events.
As Poly community members, we have a shared responsibility to promote community health and it remains critical that we continue to work together in partnership. Be assured that we will remain vigilant and nimble in shaping our return to campus plans in light of L.A. County’s infection and vaccination rates. All of us—faculty, staff, administrators, and coaches—are excited and optimistic about welcoming students to Poly this fall. Many thanks for your commitment towards a safe school opening!