A SAFE, NURTURING COMMUNITY IS ESSENTIAL TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
The Coronavirus has forced us to adapt to a new lifestyle and rethink new ways to interact. In this update you will receive more data and facts around the Coronavirus, data on our student engagement, connectivity, and nutrition program, and resources you can use for your mental health.
DATA and FACTS
As of early December, daily Coronavirus cases reached as high as 10,500 new cases in Los Angeles County with an average positivity rate as high as 9.30% for those testing. In Los Angeles County, we are currently deep in the purple tier with an average case rate of 41.8 even higher than the state's 34.0 case rate, a positivity rate of 8.7, and a 13.9 healthy equity quartile positivity rate. In order to exit the widespread purple tier and jump into the substantial spread red tier, we must maintain for two to three weeks a case rate between 4.0 and 7.0, a positivity rate between 5.0 and 8.0, and a healthy equity quartile positivity rate between 5.3 and 8.0. Click here to see a Blue Prints for a Safer Economy or go to https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
As the coronavirus infections fluctuate, we have adjusted our safety protocols from least to most restrictive. In late September and early October, we were very close to transitioning into the Red Tier 2 in LA County, so we were beginning to deliver specialized services to some students at some sites with guidance of the Department of Public Health. In late November, as infection cases increased, we were forced to reconsider cohorts and limited access to our school facilities to only 3-4 employees distributing meals, doing security work, or completing essential office work.
ASSEMBLY BILL 10
Legislation Assembly Bill 10 has been introduced to reopen schools in the red tier, and it would require a ⅔ vote in order to pass and be effective as of March 2021. This bill has not been approved and is NOT into effect. If the bill is approved, it would require schools to resume in-person learning within two weeks of the county moving to red for a minimum of 50% of instructional minutes.
MONTHLY CORONAVIRUS TESTING
Value Schools has partnered with Mend Clinic to conduct monthly walk/drive-through Testing where we invite our faculty, students, their families, and any community member to do the Coronavirus test. We saw an increase in positivity cases during our December drive-through replicating the increase we have seen in Coronavirus cases state and nationwide. We appreciate every student, faculty, and community member doing their part in preventing the spread of this virus. We encourage any of our community partners to take advantage of this resource.
Click here to sign up for upcoming monthly testing dates:
- Friday, January 8, 2021 at University Prep Value High School
- Friday, February 5, 2021 at Central City Value High School
- Friday, March 5, 2021 at University Prep Value High School
- Friday, April 2, 2021 at Central City Value High School
You have tested with us and need results?
Send an email to [email protected]. In the email include your name, date of birth, date of testing, and Value Schools as the testing site.
You can not wait for monthly testing and want to do it sooner?
Go to https://corona-virus.la/ enter your zip code, and you will receive a list of testing centers with available testing appointments.
You can become exposed or expose someone when you are less than 6 feet away for 15 minutes or more. Coronavirus symptoms vary in people and in many cases you will not feel nor show any symptoms.
- Staying home except for essential activities like going to the market or the hospital
- Wear a cloth face cover when in public
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Practice 6 feet social distancing
UNDERSTANDING HOW VACCINES WORK
The first COVID 19 vaccinations have been released and distributed through-out the country. Priority is being given to nurses and doctors and senior citizens to promote public confidence in the safety of the vaccine. I believe third in the waiting list will be educators and service providers. Click here to learn more about the state’s process to approve and release a vaccine or go to shorturl.at/eiGW5.
According to an “Understanding How Vaccines Work” article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in order for us to understand how vaccines work, we must understand how our natural immune system works. Our immune system is composed of three types of white blood cells called Macrophages, B-lymphocytes, and T-lymphocytes. These white blood cells swallow up germs or infected cells, and produce more white blood cells to attack germs and viruses.
Here are some facts about vaccines:
- Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection that will cause an increase in T-lymphocytes and antibodies
- Immunity means that you can still get a virus, but when you do your body will be better equipped to fight it; therefore, decreasing the likelihood of hospitalization or death.
- Vaccines may cause symptoms, such as fever or other minor symptoms similar to a cold or flu.
- Some vaccines require more than one dose, and the first dose does not provide as much immunity as possible; therefore, infected people should still wear a mask, keep their distance, and avoid contact with others when sick.
- Some vaccines wear off and may need a boost after a couple of months or years.
In other words, while vaccines are promising and decrease the likelihood of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death, practicing safety protocols such as wearing a mask, keeping a 6-feet distance, and washing your hands with soap and water regularly still remains the best way to be safe. For more on vaccines go to shorturl.at/owBJ1.
The Department of Public Health will be holding a Virtual Vaccine Townhall meeting on Thursday, January 17 6pm to 7:30 pm at https://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth. You can submit questions ahead of time to https://tinyurl.com/askcovidtownhall. Real-time interpretation will be provided in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Please call numbers below to access:
Spanish: (888) 664-1453
Chinese: (888) 664-1459
Korean: (888) 664-1454
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL and MENTAL HEALTH
Quarantining and remote learning has been difficult on some of our students, parents, and faculty. All of us are dealing with challenging work and child care schedules and limitation of space. These overlapping of schedules, space, and needs can be very stressful for everyone. If you are seeing an increase of sadness, anxiety, or misbehavior in your children, it is all part of frustration and stress. Coronavirus Parents a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronavirusparents/about) has been a great resource for many parents to vent and get strategies in supporting their children. During this time, remember that we are trying our best and be kind to yourself and others. If you need more support in this area, go to our Value Schools page or shorturl.at/jwW36 for a list of activities and resources for teens and parents. You may also reach out to our school counselors below:
Ms. Nunez, counselor at Everest and Downtown Value School, can be reached at [email protected]com
Ms. Ramirez, counselor at Central City Value, can be reached at [email protected]
Ms. Gold, counselor at University Prep Value School, can be reached at [email protected]
EACH STUDENT CAN DEVELOP HIS or HER FULLEST POTENTIAL
VALUE SCHOOLS ATTENDANCE and CONNECTIVITY
Value Schools recognize that distance learning and the COVID-19 pandemic present unique challenges for parents, students, and educators. Our students and families are overcoming these challenges on a daily basis to connect to class, complete their classwork and engage with their classmates and school staff. During the first four months of school, the average daily attendance (ADA) is about 95.09%, an average across the four Value Schools (see table below). Attendance during distance learning is measured slightly differently, compared to attendance before distance learning. Daily attendance includes participation in zoom classes, completion of assignments and assessments and contact between school staff and family. On average, 95% of the students are participating in distance learning across our four schools on a daily basis.
Daily attendance notifications are delivered via Parentsquare or through phone calls to parents of absent students. Additionally, dedicated Value Schools staff are available to provide technical support, social-emotional support, and develop and implement attendance plans to engage the students that are struggling with distance learning. Technical support ranges from guiding families on how to access different learning platforms to successfully complete classwork to troubleshooting device issues. Some students are referred to school counselors, while others prefer to receive outside services available through providers, such as Uplift. Usually the type of support necessary is determined and outlined in the attendance plans developed during attendance meetings between the student, family and school staff. Value Schools is here to serve our students, by continuing to engage them in Distance Learning to support them in developing their potential. For more information on how attendance is being measured this year, please contact Nancy Lopez at [email protected] or at (323) 859-7053.
VALUE SCHOOLS TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION
We were able to lend 1514 Chromebooks for students to take home to use for Distance Learning. We have 95 households connected through mobile hotspots, and 45 connected through Spectrum Cable Internet. We have 87 students waiting to be connected through Spectrum. A few students are explicitly requesting a mobile hotspot due to specific circumstances. The goal is to get as many households connected via Spectrum due to mobile hotspots being less reliable in terms of connectivity and bandwidth. If you need any more information on this topic call the Tech Support team at your school site or go to https://www.valueschools.com/apps/pages/TechResources.
VALUE SCHOOLS NUTRITION PROGRAM UPDATES
Value Schools continued to serve meals to our students and to the students around the community since we were forced to close our schools on March 13, 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic. We have served over 65,000 meals to students around the community and will continue to do so in 2021.
We have also helped families connect with the County of Los Angeles to receive the P-EBT card. This card was to assist the families who were having a hard time feeding their children at home. Our parents received the P-EBT card with a balance of $365.00 per student enrolled in school regardless of their citizenship status. Many families qualified for this program based on the information provided through CAL-PADS eligibility status based on the National School Lunch Program. If you would like more information on this program you can contact the P-EBT helpline at (877) 328-9677.
This year we collected the National School Lunch Meal Application online to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Meal applications are used by the state to provide meal reimbursements and to provide additional funds for schools to fund instructional aide positions, after school programs, and academic intervention programs. Funding is determined by the amount of families that qualify for free and reduced. We are currently 82.15% Free, 8.23% Reduced, and 9.63% Paid. Families that do not submit an application are automatically classified as paid. If you have not completed an application, please go to www.mymealtime.com/applications. If you need assistance filling out the application you can also contact Mrs. Erika Coronel at 213-785-2067, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3:15 pm.
Meals Over the Holidays
We will be serving meals at our sites on the following dates only:
- Monday, December 21st from 8am to 11 am
- Monday, December 28th from 8am to 11 am
- Monday, January 4th from 8am to 11am
This upcoming week, we will be distributing a box of meals for Value School families who signed up. We have about 350 families who have signed up for December 21 and 28 to receive these boxes. If you have any questions in regards to meal service or boxes, please contact Erika Coronel at 213-785-2067.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS
As we are headed into the holidays, we ask our families and faculty to choose wisely and avoid the three C’s: Confined Spaces, Crowds, and Close Contacts. Avoid gatherings, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask, and keep a 6-feet distance from others. If you travel, it is recommended that you quarantine for 14 days and get tested before returning to work.
We encourage you to stay home and avoid travelling and have gatherings via zoom and use any of the ideas below to entertain:
- Elfter Gift Exchange - https://www.elfster.com/
- Minds Eye- Adventure Party - https://www.adventure-party.com/home
- Paper Heart Puppets - http://www.paperheartpuppets.com/
- Virtual Online Parties - https://digitaldragon.co/parties/
- Capsule Videos- https://capsule.video/birthday
Remember, our decisions today mean celebrating with loved ones next year. Be safe and stay home.
For questions on the content of this bulletin contact your school principal or email Ana J. Chavez at [email protected].
Download a copy of this message below.