The Weekly Roar

January 9, 2022

Big picture

The Omicron Surge

We said goodbye on December 17, with no idea that the Omicron surge would impact us in this manner. Everyone's anxiety levels are increasing, and patience is hard to find. Please know that La Ballona is trying to do all that we can to keep students and staff safe, and to continue in-person learning. There are many protocols I need to share in this newsletter, but I'd like to begin with some appreciations and ideas to think about.


  • This past week, I was one of the first staff members to fall victim to Covid. I would like to thank my Assistant Principal, Ms. Kana Nakagawa for her perseverance, problem solving, and leadership.

  • In addition to our dedicated teachers, there are many folks behind the scenes saving the day. Our intervention teachers had to stop providing intervention so that classes had substitutes. Our instructional coach and MTSS coordinator were covering lunch duties, recesses, un-subbed classes and more. It has taken a village, and I appreciate you all. Our absences were at an all time high this past week. We were missing over 25% of our staff just on Friday.


  • As we move into next week, please try your best to be patient with your teachers, nurses, office staff, and administration. Just like families, we are all trying to do our best with information that changes very quickly. I know that all of our emotional reserves are drying up, but we all need to support one another during this really tough time. Our schools are doing the very best that we can with limited capacity and funding. Our training hasn't prepared us for this, and we'll need your grace and encouragement as we work this out. This is a nation-wide issue, and we need our parents on our side. We are all Team La Ballona!

  • Thank you to the team of parents that swiftly acted to get our lunch tables moved back outdoors after all of our tents were destroyed in the rains. (They purchased tents and help the custodians set up the tables). This is what I mean by Team La Ballona!

  • Let's all remember what January 2021 looked like: we were all on Zoom, there was little to no social interaction, no recesses, and we had no idea when we'd be back in person. Now think about last week. Yes, it was hectic, but our kids are better off than they were one year ago. Let's be collectively grateful for the vaccinations, strict Covid protocols, and all the extra efforts that are not easy, but worth it.


Stay PAWSitive

Dr. Becky Godbey

Principal

Big picture

All Things Covid

Mandatory Student Covid Testing

This week, a letter was sent from the district to notify all families that, as of January 10, 2022, CCUSD will enforce the required ongoing, weekly COVID-19 testing for all students in order to remain in school. This step is necessary due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/data/)


We distributed an at-home iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kit (a box of two tests) to every student on Friday, January 7, 2022:


1. For students who ARE registered with CCUSD testing: Students who are already testing on a weekly basis are not required to use this at-home test but may use them if they want an additional level of testing.


2. For students who ARE NOT registered with CCUSD testing: Those students who are not already being tested on a weekly basis MUST use one of these tests and provide those negative results to their school site on Monday, January 10, 2022. You can send the actual test strip in a baggie or submit a photo of the test result to the appropriate email address below:


La Ballona: c19-laballona@ccusd.org


3. Instructions on how to conduct the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test are included with the test; a video tutorial is also available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6_WEZQY6d8


Any student with a positive result from this at-home antigen test must report it to their school nurse Ismael Garcia at: mariagutierrez@ccusd.org immediately and may not attend school without further instruction by CCUSD health staff.


This weekly monitoring is necessary to ensure the safe return for all students and staff. Moving forward we expect all students to participate in the CCUSD weekly COVID-19 testing program to maintain a safe learning environment.


Parents who have not yet registered their students for weekly testing MUST register using this link: CCUSD COVID-19 Test Registration. For families that need technical assistance with registration, please contact the school office.


We thank you for your cooperation and support as we work to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff.

Test Results from Tuesday, January 4?

The COVID-19 test results from last week took extra time to be delivered as the labs and testing company were overwhelmed with tests and suffering from their own lack of staff. The results are complete and all positive cases have been notified. If you have not received any messages then you can assume your test result is negative.


You can also use the at home test that was sent with all students for additional caution.


CCUSD will be adding an additional weekly testing option in the next couple of weeks from a different company to allow for more thorough testing opportunities. information on that will be sent to families and staff as soon as we have it.


If you have not registered to take the Weekly Tuesday Testing, we need you to do this ASAP.

Masks

ALL students will continue to receive new KN95 masks each Monday, or anytime during the week in which their mask get dirty or soiled.


ALL staff are required to wear KN95 masks when at school.


Below is a chart about the safety of all of us wearing the masks that are being provided by the district.

Big picture

Quarantine, Isolation, and Symptoms. What do we do?

How long does a person who is COVID-positive need to isolate?

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS And test positive for COVID-19 or if your doctor thinks that you have COVID-19, you must stay home until:

• At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms first started and

• You have a negative viral COVID-19 test collected on day 5 or later and

• You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours and

• Your symptoms are improving

-OR-

• At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first started and

• You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours and

• Your symptoms are improving


Day 0 is the first day your symptoms develop. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms start.

IF you NEVER developed symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, you must stay home until:


• At least 5 days have passed the day your initial positive test was taken and

• You have a negative viral COVID-19 test collected on day 5 or later

-OR-

• You must stay home for 10 days after your initial positive test was take

Day 0 is the day your positive test was taken. Day 1 is the first full day after your positive test was taken.

If you test on day 5 or later, it is better to use a rapid antigen test because NAAT/PCR tests can stay positive even after you are no longer infectious. No at-home tests will be accepted by CCUSD. For more information see HomeisolationenCoV.pdf (lacounty.gov)

How long does a close contact have to quarantine?

YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO QUARANTINE (you are exempt) if you do not have symptoms AND you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. This means that you are either:

  • fully vaccinated and boosted or

  • fully vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster.

If you or your student does not meet this requirement, you must quarantine (stay home and away from others). For more information see COVHomeQuarantine.pdf (lacounty.gov)

Big picture

The Month of January

Important Dates (New Dates in Bold)

January 13- SSC, 3:30pm

January 14- Coffee with the Principal, 9:30 (flyer below)

January 17- Martin Luther King Jr. School Holiday

January 18- Teacher Inservice Day. No School for Students

January 21- Family Movie Night (Depending on Omicron)

January 25- PTA Board Meeting, 6:30

January 26- Kindergarten Information Night for Incoming Kindergarteners

January 28- $1 Book Sale

February 2-100th Day of School (corrected on 1/10)

February 3- PTA Meeting, 6:30

Big picture

Last Wednesday's Assembly

Big picture

Getting PAWSITIVE! (repeated)

Beginning this Monday, we are (re)starting our PAWS ticket incentive program. Here's how it works:


  • Every staff member has been given PAWS/PATA tickets
  • Whenever a staff member wants to reinforce one of our PAWS/PATA values, they give students a ticket.
  • Students submit these tickets for a weekly raffle.
  • Raffle winners get to select items from Dr. Godbey's treasure box.
  • Click on the picture of the video for more information. The children are so excited!
Big picture
Click: How to go to your Parent Portal on Aeries

Here is how you can view your child's report card

Big picture

Click on the image below for Counselor Serrano's Helpful Tips

Big picture

Volunteer Qs & As (repeated)

Question: I missed the orientation. Will there be another one?

Answer: Last week, we held our volunteer orientation. If you missed if and would like to volunteer, please watch this video!

https://ccusd.zoom.us/rec/share/iJIqIIQ5LMxn2mAVE_LBzt_mR7jCielnyKE4AumneoOkXvorCHzGAk7aW5tDc1Sn.j2P2WGozD-VrlyqZ Passcode: x&^D22Z@


Question: How do you register?

Answer: Check out our website. If provides the application and all the steps.


Question: If I was a cleared volunteer in the past, do I need to start from scratch?

Answer: No, but make sure your TB test hasn't expired. Oh, and you need to show your vaccination documentation.


Question: How do I turn in all my paperwork?

Answer: Erika Arredondo, the secretary, is your contact person. Please email erikaarredondo@ccusd.org


Question: Do I have to show a negative Covid Test?

Answer: Not at this time. You need to be vaccinated though.


Question: What do I need exactly to be cleared?

Answer: Current TB Test, Fingerprint Check, Application, Covid Vaccination, and you must watch the video above.


Question: What can I do? What am I volunteering for?

Answer: There are two paths. You can either 1) connect with a staff member or teacher and arrange your volunteering. Or you can 2) wait to hear from PTA. We are finalizing some school-wide volunteer programs like Copy Fairies and Board Games at Lunch (we need a better name for that).


Question: Can I start Monday, December 13?

Answer: Probably not. I anticipate that most teachers will want to wait until January. Plus, it's trickier this year with all the rules.


Question: Can I just show up and say "I'm here to volunteer?"

Answer: No. The teacher, staff member, or PTA coordinator needs to know that you are coming.


Question: What if my teacher isn't using volunteers?

Answer: Due to a variety reasons, this may be a reality for some classes. Please know that each staff member has personal circumstances that may cause reluctance to have additional adults in the classroom during the pandemic. Other staff members may not need or want volunteers for other reasons. In these cases, you are always welcome to help with morning arrival Cone Crew, Dismissal, Copy Fairies, and Board Game Team (still need a better name).


We will keep the Volunteer page on the Website updated as we go.

Big picture

Lions' Pride Run (Jogathon)

Hello Families, We are gearing up for our spring fundraiser, the Lion's Pride Run! Students are lacing up those sneakers in preparation, and we need parent support as well. Please reach out to Rocio Alvarez - webadmin@laballonapta.org if you're able to help organize this awesome fundraiser.

Big picture

2022-2023 La Ballona PTA Nomination Committee

As we move into the second half of the school year, our PTA Board is beginning the process of creating a nomination committee for future Board members. If you are a current PTA member, and would like to help shape next year's board, please reach out to Jamie Krute - msjamiedoody@gmail.com

Big picture

SSC Meeting Thursday

Our School Site Council meeting is Thursday, January 13th at 3:30. The School Site Council is a governing group that helps our school make decisions about the school budget. Next week's agenda is below.
Big picture

Student Store temporarily closed!

The "Student Store" is temporarily closed until Wednesday, January 19th. We will then reopen again for our normal hours.

-Monday 8:50am-9:30am

-Wednesday 1:50pm-2:30pm

-Friday 8:50am-9:30am

Big picture

ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DRIVE

We are currently at $64,00, just a bit over half way to our yearly goal of raising $120,000 (approx $300/child)!

For this year's programs and supplies, we're in need of community support. Every donation pushes us closer to our goal; allowing us to create a platform for our students to access educational opportunities, tools and experiences the school might not otherwise be able to afford.


Ways to donate and help out:
Go to bit.ly/laballona and donate what you can!
By check, make payable to "La Ballona PTA" and return in an envelope to your classroom teacher.
Share this flyer with your friends, family, and local businesses!
Monthly donation option is available at https://laballonapta.org/donate
Ask your company if they offer matching gifts for employees!

Big picture
Big picture

Information Night for Incoming Kindergarteners

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture