One local private school has received a waiver to reopen pre-kindergarten through second-grade classes, according to the city’s website.
On Oct. 22, city Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh notified High Point Academy that their preK-second grade students could return to class.
“Your waiver application has been approved by both the Pasadena Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health. This waiver allows in-person instruction for grades preK-2nd (grade) at your institution, as applicable, in compliance with your application and reopening plan as submitted,” stated the notice.
High Point is just one of two local schools that successfully submitted waivers as of Thursday.
The school could be forced to close its doors again in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
In a video released on Thursday, Goh said only one school has submitted a complete application. Pasadena public health officials are currently working with two other schools that submitted incomplete applications. Two additional schools have also submitted waiver applications.
In Pasadena, school waiver application components have been posted for two months in order to allow schools to prepare for reopening. Health Department officials have been visiting local schools to provide hands-on consulting.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to allow elementary schools to begin applying for waivers needed to reopen grades preK-2nd grade in local schools, prioritizing schools with high numbers of low-income students.
The county is still listed in the state’s highest-risk category for COVID-19 under its four-tier economic recovery roadmap. The county remains in the “purple”’ tier, signifying continued widespread transmission of the virus locally.
Contract talks between the Pasadena Unified School District and the union representing its teachers, United Teachers of Pasadena, are ongoing. The district does not expect to open schools for in-person instruction this year.
“We expect to maintain an ongoing conversation with schools that have reopened under the waiver process, so that we may continue to provide technical assistance and support,” Goh said in her letter to High Point. “As community conditions change and science evolves, we may require you to evolve your application and/or reopening plan and update your posted documents.”