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 Poly's updates and recent communications to the Poly community regarding COVID-19 precautions that have been put in place. 

Return to Campus Community Messages

January 13, 2021

Dear Poly families,

I write to share an update on the school’s Return to Campus plans. Considering factors such as community health data and recent guidance from L.A. County and Pasadena health officials, we wanted to provide the clearest picture of how we anticipate the remainder of the school year will unfold. As it has been since March, we continue to offer our best thinking and remain nimble in ever-changing conditions. 

Adjusted Date for Return to Campus Programming

We are suspending on-campus activities until February 1. Los Angeles and Pasadena Public Health Departments have strongly encouraged local schools to defer in-person programs which can have a significant impact on the transmission of COVID-19. Per our existing protocol, we will resume COVID-19 testing during the week of February 1 for students, faculty, and staff who plan to return to campus (additional info to come from Poly’s Health Office). 

On-Campus Programming until Spring Break

On-campus programming (K-2 in-person instruction, Upper School athletic conditioning, 3-12 specialized services) will continue in its current schedule until Spring Break (classes resume on April 5). If health conditions improve and schools are granted permission to expand on-campus activities prior to Spring Break, we will. For example, Governor Newsom has said that he will open a waiver process for grades 3-6 if the case rate per 100,000 people is below 28. Currently, Pasadena is at about 88 cases per 100,000.

Administering COVID-19 Vaccine to Faculty and Staff

Poly has been granted the ability to administer vaccines to all faculty and staff during the last week of January through the first weeks of February. This is a necessary (and exciting!) step toward curbing the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the community. In partnership with three other area independent schools, Poly is developing a vaccination plan in parallel to the efforts of the Pasadena Unified School District. We are currently sharing important information about the safety, efficacy, and health implications of the COVID-19 vaccine with our faculty and staff by conducting town hall meetings and Q&A sessions in collaboration with Marcy Kwitny, Director of Health Services, and our medical advisory committee.

Future Plans for a Return to Campus

Looking ahead to the spring, we are hopeful about expanding on-campus instruction and student activities, but the timing and extent to which we are able to do so is strictly driven by directives from Pasadena and L.A. County. Please know that from a health and safety standpoint, Poly is fully prepared to implement a broader return to campus (including our original plan for a 100% return of grades K-5 and 50% of grades 6-12) pending permission from public health officials and as community health conditions significantly improve. As a constant, our distance learning program will continue to be offered to students for the remainder of the school year. 

This has been, and continues to be, a challenging time for many families and in ways as varied as our circumstances. I thank you for your continued support, patience, and goodwill. The Steering Committee meets weekly to discuss new information about the evolving health landscape that impacts school programming and will continue to offer timely updates to the community. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.  

Be Well,
John Bracker
Head of School

on behalf of the Return to Campus Steering Committee
  • Steve Beerman, Director of Athletics
  • Sean Dwyer, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
  • Jennifer Fleischer, Upper School Director
  • Pat Gray, Middle School Director
  • Keith Huyssoon, Chief Financial Officer 
  • Marcy Kwitny, Director of Health Services
  • Paula Martin, Lower School Director
  • José Melgoza, Executive Director, Partnership For Success!, Upper School History Faculty
  • Sharon Thompson, Assistant Head of School
  • Lisa Wu, Director of Enrollment and Strategic Communications
  • John Yen, Director of Technology