Superintendent's Update - August 13, 2021

Our teachers and staff have been hard at work throughout the summer preparing for the new year.  Below, I would like to take this opportunity to share some important updates with you about a few different topics.

I am looking forward to seeing you at school next week!



Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.
2021-22 School Year: Ready to Roll!
At the Board of Education’s August 11 meeting, district staff reviewed a presentation about the start of the school year.  Highlights included information around some key focus areas in our schools related to instruction, school climate and culture, and collaboration.  Details about transportation, school meals, and our facilities were also shared.
Public Health Requirements FAQ
The public health requirements that our schools will follow were also reviewed in last night’s presentation and I outlined some of the key points in a previous update.  As always, we will follow all requirements laid out in guidelines provided by both state and county health officials.  Below are some commonly asked questions and answers:



Are schools following normal school schedules?

Yes, we will be returning to a safe and full-time in-person regular bell schedule for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.  Please check with your school for specific information.

Are masks required when indoors?

Yes, students, teachers, and staff must wear masks when indoors.

Are masks required outdoors?

No, wearing masks outdoors is optional for students, teachers, and staff.

Is physical distancing required?

No, physical distancing is not required but will be encouraged when possible.

Will playgrounds be open for students?

Yes, playgrounds will be accessible and open for all students.

Where can students eat lunch?

Students can eat lunch indoors or outdoors.  When indoors, students must wear masks unless actively eating or drinking – similar to a restaurant.

Should parents screen their students for COVID-19 related symptoms prior to sending them to school?

Yes, parents should routinely check to see if their student(s) are showing any symptoms each morning before school.  If a student is showing any signs of symptoms, the student should NOT be sent to school.

How long is the quarantine period for someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

The quarantine period is 10 days.

How long is the quarantine period for an unvaccinated student who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Without Testing:  10 days

With Testing:  7 days with a negative test after day five and asymptomatic

If a student has to stay home due to quarantine, how will the student keep up with their schoolwork?

Teachers will provide work for students in the event that this occurs.  

Are students who are 12 or older required to be vaccinated?

No, this is not a requirement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at this time.

Does each classroom have its own MERV 13 filter within it? If not, will each classroom be

provided with its own individual HEPA air purifier?

Classrooms will have MERV 13 filters in the HVAC system. There may be exceptions in classrooms that do not have an HVAC system or windows that open. For these cases, portable HEPA air purifiers will be provided.

What is my option if I am not comfortable sending my student to school in person?

Mountain Park School offers a robust independent study program as an alternative to traditional in-person instruction.  Additional information can be found on their website.

New School Staff Vaccination Requirement
As you may have heard, under Governor Newsom’s direction, the California Department of Public Health has issued an order requiring all district teachers and staff to show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19.  The order is currently in effect and districts have until October 19 to be in full compliance.

At the Board of Education’s August 25 meeting, a presentation will be shared offering more information about the specific steps Monrovia Unified School District will take to comply with this order, as well as a timeline.

Insurance Group Sues SCE
You may have read recently in local news outlets that our district insurance provider, Alliance for Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs or (ASCIP), has filed a lawsuit against utility provider Southern California Edison (SCE).  ASCIP paid the district for claims related to damages from the 2020 Bobcat fire.  ASCIP is seeking reimbursement of those claims from SCE, a process called “subrogation.”  This matter is strictly between ASCIP and SCE; MUSD is not a party to this lawsuit at all.