Dear IUSD Community,
On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education and District leadership, we hope you enjoy the upcoming winter break and the holiday season. We would also like to express our deepest gratitude for your partnership and support throughout this unprecedented year.
I have often said that IUSD is more than a school district. We are a student-centered community. Never has this been more evident. Together, we have worked through many challenges in an ever-changing landscape. Time and again, our students, families and staff have demonstrated grace, adaptability, character and determination. As we prepare to usher in a new year together, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with this outstanding community to support our nearly 36,000 students and to continue to provide academic models that meet the diverse needs of our community, while maintaining safe campuses.
Let’s Do Our Part to Keep Schools Safe
In recent weeks, we have communicated that there is a large body of evidence from the California Department of Public Health, the Orange County Health Care Agency and other health experts that schools are not the source of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, due to effective mitigation strategies. However, the choices we make, when not on campus, can and do make a difference in helping to keep our schools safe and open. For more information and ways you can do your part, please see the following resources:
- California’s Resource Page: COVID and the Holidays (travel advisories, celebrating safely and more)
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Resource Page
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Page
- Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 Resource Page
- IUSD’s Opening and Safety Planning Webpage
- IUSD’s COVID-19 Resource Page
If your holiday plans include travel, please continue to monitor and follow all CDC and California Department of Public Health guidelines, including the recent travel advisory, which states, “Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.” While this is not mandatory, it is recommended to help prevent the transmission of the virus in our community and schools. If your student or a member of your household experiences COVID-19 symptoms, do not send your student to school and contact your physician for next steps.
IUSD remains in close contact with the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide updates to the IUSD community when new information is available. The health and safety or our students, staff and families is our priority and as we have done since the onset of COVID-19, we will continue to follow state and local guidelines and adapt and pivot as need.
Mental Health and Wellness Resources and Supports
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind our community about the importance of mental health and wellness, along with available resources during the break. Please visit iusd.org/WeCare or click here for more information about IUSD and community resources and supports for students and families. This includes our Say Something Anonymous Reporting System that enables students to seek support anonymously for themselves or for friends, links to community supports, and information about IUSD’s new partnership with Care Solace to connect families with outside care providers.
Thank you again and best wishes for a wonderful and rejuvenating break.
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District