Head of School Update: October 6, 2020

Dear Mayfield Families,
As we move into October and the fall months, a lot of the traditions of a typical MJS school year are starting to take place. I’ve been in recent meetings and discussions regarding campus Christmas decorating, the start of School Families this Friday, and our creative and dedicated 8th graders are putting together an amazing Harvest Festival plan. It’s still lonely and quiet here, but we are edging closer to having our students gradually back on campus. 
As you know, we are currently governed by state and local mandates that guide our return to campus. At the state level, L.A. County is required to move from our current Tier 1, or “Widespread” status to Tier 2, or “Substantial” status before schools can reopen. L.A. County will need to remain in Tier 2 for two consecutive weeks prior to reopening campuses. The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) has announced that they will be accepting waivers from schools for students in grades TK-2 to return to campuses prior to the change in tier. They will be accepting 30 waivers per week and will prioritize high-poverty schools. The PPHD web portal for school waiver applications for in-person instruction limited to grades TK-2 went live yesterday (October 5, 2020). We are applying for this waiver. It is not clear how long it will take for schools like MJS to be considered, but we will be in the lineup. 
In addition, PPHD has determined that up to 10% of a school’s students, who represent the population of “highest need,” can return to campus during this time. While originally intended to serve only special education and English language learners, this exception can now be applied to any students a school determines to be of highest need. MJS joins other Pasadena area independent schools in preparing to welcome our youngest students (Kindergarten) back to campus as soon as we are given permission by the city under this 10% highest need provision. It is clear that the city, county, and state is purposefully organizing slow and gradual reopenings, and this makes sense for a county with close to 2 million K-12 students in public and private schools. More specific information will follow, but rest assured that we will be in communication with all of our families throughout this process. Please be on the lookout for a survey that will be coming to you via email very soon. The survey will include information that we must have to complete the waiver and documentation applications with the city and county. 
We are ready to welcome students back to campus when we are allowed and when it is safe. You already know about the amazing work that has been done for months and months by our Health & Safety Task Force led by Larry Guyer, our Academic Task Force Program led by Bridget Kelley-Lossada P ‘18, ‘22, and Beth Dorr, our Finance & Budget Task Force led by Kathy Sweeney P ‘13, and our Scenario Planning Team led by Board of Trustees Chair, Jason Bridge P ‘23, ‘23, Immediate Past Board Chair, Allison Gamble ‘83, P ‘18, ‘20, and myself. Of course, all students will continue to have the option of choosing Forward Choice and remain in Forward Remote once we begin returning to campus. Don’t forget to check out our Ever Forward webpage for more specific details and information. 
Thank you for all of your patience and support. Mayfield continues to be a joyful community of serious learning. I know that our students are progressing nicely in our Forward Remote program, but we cannot wait to return to campus safely. All of our actions and habits will affect our ability to stay open once we return to campus, so we are all in this together. Let’s continue to pray for an end to this pandemic and for the health and safety of our entire MJS community.
Ever Forward,
Joe Sciuto
Head of School

Mayfield Junior School

Located in Pasadena, California, Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus is a K-8 Catholic coeducational private school. Our kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school experience best prepares students for high school education and beyond.