La Mesa Update

January 6, 2022

Hello La Mesa Families,

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a great holiday break. We very much hope your family has remained healthy during the break. There is information below about student COVID at home testing kits that are available to students as desired or needed. Testing to return is NOT required, but we do ask that you keep sick children home.


Grades for Quarter 2 are available on the Infinite Campus Portal.


We are looking forward to a great second semester!


Sincerely,

Michele Krantz, principal

Por favor, desplácese hacia abajo para seleccionar español.

Remind students to not forget their school ID!

Semester 2 Schedules

We look forward to seeing all of our students back this Monday, January 10th. There have been some changes to student schedules, as there are every semester, to allow for changes in exploratory classes and balancing class numbers. Students and parents can access schedules through Infinite Campus on Friday, January 7th.

Updates on COVID Protocols from Superintendent Kuhlman

I hope you all have been able to enjoy a safe and restful holiday season with friends and family.


As we look forward to the start of the spring semester, we do so with an understanding that the Omicron surge will bring fresh challenges to the start of the new year. Over the last several days, we have received new guidance from the State of California and from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This communication is intended to summarize several new options, recommendations, and requirements.


Free At-Home Testing Options

The State of California has publicly declared that they will be making at-home testing kits available for every student who is interested in accessing this resource. We had originally been told that these tests would be delivered to our district this week. Today we learned that the tests have been delayed.


Stay tuned for updates and a distribution plan once we receive confirmation from the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Regardless of when they are delivered, please note that no one is required to pick up and/or use these at-home tests. They are being made available as an optional resource.


As always, students who test positive, who have been in close contact with a positive case, or who develop symptoms should remain at home and contact their school site.


Isolation and Quarantine Requirements

The LA County Public Health Order was revised on December 31, 2021. The revision makes changes to Isolation requirements (for those testing positive) and Quarantine requirements (for those who are close contacts with known positives). In certain circumstances the period of Isolation or Quarantine can be reduced from 10 days to 5 days. However, additional testing requirements have been added.

Isolation


If you have COVID-19, you must self-isolate regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms. Everyone with COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days. How long you have to isolate depends on whether you have symptoms and if you get a negative follow-up viral test on day 5 or later. For more information on LACDPH isolation requirements, go HERE.


Quarantine

California’s “modified quarantine” rule states that vaccinated students who are close contacts can remain in class during the period of their quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic. Unvaccinated students must remain at home during the period of their quarantine. The revised health order now requires all quarantined students to be tested following exposure, regardless of vaccination status. For more information on LACDPH quarantine requirements, go HERE.


Recommendations for Types of Masks Worn by Students

The revised Public Health Order strongly recommends that students opt to wear well-fitting masks that are made of “multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.” In other words, the County is discouraging students from wearing cloth masks. Instead, they are recommending surgical masks (think disposable doctors’ paper face masks) or a higher level personal protective equipment. For more information on LACDPH masking recommendations for students, go HERE.


Outdoor Masking Requirements

The revised Public Health Order now requires masking outdoors “where physical distancing is not feasible, except while eating or drinking.” We have asked all school sites to make this announcement daily and will call for supervisors to circulate and remind students during outdoor breaks. Signage will be posted in external areas to highlight the new requirements. For more information on LACDPH outdoor masking requirements, go HERE.


We appreciate your patience as we work to implement these modified policies and procedures. We hope that you can take confidence in knowing that Hart District staff have been working diligently to ensure that students and staff can return safely to the classroom on January 10.


Thank you, and I wish you a peaceful and healthy remainder to your winter break.


Sincerely,

Mike Kuhlman

Superintendent

New Staff at La Mesa

We have a few new staff changes that are important for you to know about.


Our new Registrar is Jessica Martinez. She replaces Kathy Reid who retired in October. Ms. Martinez can assist you with enrollment, work permit and transcript needs. You can reach her at 661-250-0022 ext 132 or by email at jmartiniez@hartdistrict.org. She also speaks Spanish.


Briana Chopin is our New Social Worker. She can assist you with all sorts of things. She works closely with attendance and can assist you if you family is struggling with accessing resources.

You can reach her at 661-250-0022 ext 445 or by email bchopin@hartdistrict.org.


Our new Band Director is Andrew Shousha. He brings an enormous amount of talent and passion to our program. We are confident our students are going to love him! His email is ashousha@hartdistrict.org.


In English, Karen Verkouteren is taking over for Tyler Wheeler, who served as a long term substitute in 7th grade English and Achieve. Fun fact, Mrs. Verkouteren was an English teacher at La Mesa about 15 years ago. We are so excited for her to return home! Her email is kverkouteren@hartdsitrict.org


And in our Special Education department, we are excited to welcome back Lisa King who will teach Daily Living Skills on the Panthers Team. Mrs. King fills the opening left by Ms. Katambwa. Ms. Karina Romero will be moving over to take over Math, while Mrs. King steps back into her Daily Living Skills classes. Her email is lking@hartdistrict.org.


We welcome all of these new additions to our team. If your child works directly with any of the teachers listed, you will receive an introduction letter and other information directly form them during the first week back to school.

REMINDER: Please Pull All the Way Forward before Unloading and Loading Passengers

Tutorial Starts Next Week

Starting the first week of our new semester, we will have a 29 minute tutorial period on Tuesdays and Thursdays before lunch. This time will be used to support student learning and to provide enrichment opportunities.


In many cases, students will be placed into a tutorial session by a teacher based on their individual learning needs. Sometimes they will get to choose what session to attend. On Tuesday, January 11th, they will learn more about how this time will work.


Our staff has been working hard to plan for effective use of this time. Teachers will continue to collaborate weekly to provide meaningful learning experiences for the students.

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CrisisGo and Student IDs

We cannot stress enough how important it is for students to have their IDs each day and for their Crisis Go to be completed. Students without these things risk being late to class and require us to pull additional adults from supervising inside campus.


As a reminder, students who deface or lose their student ID will need to replace it. They can purchase one at the ASB window for $5 or use their HOWL points on the HOWL store.

Daily Bulletin

Click on this button each day to access our daily bulletin. Here you will find the information shared with studnets each day. It can also be found on our website.

Counselor Corner

Please be sure to check out all of the wonderful resources available to students and families on our La Mesa Counseling Page. Here you can also find contact information for each of our counselors.

Respect - Taking it Home

As you may be aware, most of our classrooms use a social contract that is created by the students to set the expectations for how everyone treats each other in the class. Social contract use is part of our Capturing Kids' Hearts training that our staff participates in. One word that can be found on just about every social contract is "respect." Please take a moment to check out the family resource provided by Capturing Kids' Hearts where they provide some great ways to promote respect at home.
Amazon Wishlist - Donations Appreciated

These items are redeemed by students with the HOWL points they earn from the online HOW Store. Thank you to everyone who has donated. It is so appreciated.

La Mesa Junior High Website

You can usually find the information you are looking for on our website.

HOWLing for La Mesa Staff

Please use this opportunity to recognize La Mesa staff members that have made a difference for you or your child by clicking HERE to fill out a message.
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Coming up:

Monday, December 20th - Friday, January 7th - Winter Break No School

Monday, January 10th - First Day of Semester 2 Classes

Monday, January 17th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

Friday, February 18 - No School

Monday, February 21 - Presidents' Day No School

Monday, April 4 - Friday, April 8 - Spring Break


William S. Hart District Calendar 2021-22

Non-Discrimination Policy

The William S. Hart Union High School District prohibits unlawful discrimination against and/or harassment of any student, employee or job applicant on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, ancestry, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military or veteran status, political affiliation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively at any District site and/or activity. All inquiries regarding discrimination, civil rights, and/or Title IX should be directed to the Director of Human Resources and Equity Services, William S. Hart Union High School District, 21380 Centre Pointe Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, or by phone (661) 259-0033, ext. 316, or by email: UCP@hartdistrict.org