At Pacoima Beautiful, we believe our current primary role is to safeguard the health and well-being of our youth members, adult members, and staff. We recognize that you may have concerns and questions about the unfolding situation with the coronavirus. To that end, we would like to give you an update on the necessary steps we are taking to provide a safe environment for all our program participants and employees during this time.
As we closely monitor the latest developments on the situation,we are following the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are taking the executive order recommendations made by California Governor Gavin Newson, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and other county leaders and public health officials seriously, to postpone or cancel events that bring large groups of people in close contact with each other.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are shifting to working remotely, effective immediately. To minimize the risk of transmission, we are postponing all in person meetings and events for the remainder of March. We will continue to take calls, answer emails and will be available for online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration via tools like Zoom. Our work and community is important to us but we believe in protecting the health and well-being of everyone that we serve.
In the spirit of solidarity,please remember the coronavirus does not give us the right to be racist and xenophobic towards our Asian brothers and sisters. Also,please be mindful of misinformation circulating about the coronavirus, listen to credible sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are all in this together.
We are privileged to serve you and look forward to providing you with updates. On behalf of everyone at Pacoima Beautiful, thank you for your continued support, commitment to environmental justice and to promoting a healthy and sustainable San Fernando Valley.
Pacoima Beautiful is monitoring the breaking news about Coronavirus Disease and aware of, and will respond to, inquiries coming in from the field.
The City of Los Angeles has declared a local emergency to access additional resources that will help our region prepare and has imposed a ban on events taking place at public facilities.
The City’s activated our City Emergency Operations Center to Level 3, the lowest level of activation to assist with monitoring and coordinating the City’s planning, preparedness, and response efforts with City departments and other partner agencies.
The City is working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) and the County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to share updates, guidance, and information on COVID-19.
The City is reviewing and updating its Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) to determine if, and how, to continue operations and deliver essential services by asking all Departments to prepare telework plans.
The Port of Los Angeles and San Pedro Bay Complex are on heightened alert. The Coast Guard is assessing all inbound vessels to determine whether the vessel has visited a country impacted by COVID-19 within the last five ports of call. Vessel operators are required to report ill crewmembers and passengers within 15 days of arrival to any U.S. port.
LAX is following the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and L.A. County DPH — including screening travelers with possible exposure and following best practices to keep travelers and employees safe. This includes installing more than 250 more hand sanitizer stations and using virus and bacteria-killing disinfectants throughout the airport. The City is cleaning public areas and restrooms at least once per hour, and increasing deep cleaning — focusing on high touch areas like handrails, escalators, elevator buttons and restroom doors. The City is also adding signage with information on COVID-19 symptoms and how to reduce the spread of illness.
What the Los Angeles Unified School District is doing:
The public health crisis created by the coronavirus is not something any of us could reasonably have expected to happen, and we’re in uncharted waters as we work to prevent the spread of the illness. We have been following the guidance of public health experts on how we can keep all who are part of our school community — students, staff, family members and visitors — safe in the midst of a growing health crisis. We are now at a point where the balance has shifted and the appropriate path is to close schools. We are taking this step to keep our school communities safe. Effective Monday, March 16, we will close all Los Angeles Unified public schools for two weeks while we evaluate the appropriate path forward. While our school facilities will be closed, plans are in place for students to continue to learn during this time, and we will open 40 family resource centers to provide care for children if families need it.
This is a difficult decision, but necessary, as we try to slow the spread of the virus. Los Angeles Unified serves a high-needs population, and our schools provide a social safety net for our children. The closing of any school has real consequences beyond the loss of instructional time. This is not an easy decision and not one we take lightly.
Each student will have a plan which they will take home with them today and additional support will be provided to assist students as they transition to a different way of learning and teachers to a different way of teaching.
For some students it will be continuing the lesson plan and instruction they have already been working on with their classroom teacher. For others it will be engaging with the curriculum and lessons which we and PBS SoCal will be providing. And for some, it will be a combination of the two.
While our special education centers will also close, students and families will continue to have access to services from the regional centers they currently rely on.
The Family Resource Centers will open on Wednesday, March 18 and will be staffed weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with trained professionals. Children will be able to have a warm meal, engage with their peers and pursue their different studies. And they’ll be safe.
We are developing a family resource guide that we will provide to you before Monday, to help answer your questions.
I want to thank all on our staff who are working tirelessly to help our students and planning for them to remain connected to the school community. We know the adults on a school campus are an important part of a student’s life and will do our best to try and maintain that connection. All employees should rest assured knowing they will still be paid during this time, even if they are not directly involved in providing services to students.
And to our families, we thank you for your patience and trust as we work together to maintain some sense of normalcy in these difficult times. These next two weeks will be difficult and we are not certain what lies ahead after that. You have my unwavering commitment to do all we can do to help you and your children. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed. Facts and circumstances may change quickly so we encourage you to check our website lausd.net regularly, my Twitter @AustinLASchools or call the following phone hotlines.
For families: (213) 443-1300 For employees: (213) 241-2700
Thank you for your support. Austin
To the Los Angeles Unified School Community
A la Comunidad del Distrito Unificado Escolar de Los Ángeles
Rolling updates from LAUSD, United Teachers Los Angeles, and Local District Northeast