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Superintendent

Superintendent’s Message

iconSuperintendent’s Messagetitle

A portrait of Carl Coles
August 31, 2021
 
Dear Bonita Unified Families,
 
The first seven days of school are now behind us, and we are so grateful to resume full-time in-person instruction while maintaining an independent study program. We aim to provide all students with rigorous and challenging learning environments, no matter where it takes place. 
 
Our goal is that the 2021-22 school year is a year of stability and normalcy. However, as we are all reminded every day, this pandemic is far from over. As the superintendent, transparency is crucial in both celebrations and challenges that impact the communities of Bonita USD. So, I want to bring your attention to COVID-19 case rates recorded in the first seven days of school.
 
As of August 30, families have self-reported their 40 students have tested positive for COVID-19.  In addition, 12 staff members have self-reported testing positive. Due to the quarantine mandates per the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), our positive cases have resulted in nearly 500 students required to quarantine. Starting next Monday, September 6, and every Monday thereafter, the District will publish its positive case rates on the District's webpage under COVID-19 updates.
 
As we start this school year, the quarantine mandate from LACDPH has been challenging to say the least. Below are the orders:
  • All individuals that test positive must quarantine for ten days.
  • An individual must quarantine if they are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for ten days.
    • An individual is considered a close contact if they were within six feet of someone with COVID for a total of 15 minutes over 24 hours.
    • If an individual is considered a close contact, the individual may leave quarantine after Day 7 if the individual tests negative for COVID-19 no less than five days after being placed on quarantine.
      • The student may return to school on day eight.
  • Vaccinated students and staff do not need to quarantine unless they exhibit COVID-like symptoms.  
 
The quarantine mandate for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is more flexible. 
After close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual, students and staff may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they are:
  • Asymptomatic
  • Continue to wear a mask
  • If unvaccinated, undergo at least twice weekly testing for ten days  
 
We have requested that LACDPH align and follow the CDPH guidelines so our students are afforded the same opportunities that students from neighboring counties receive.
 
We also know that students will get sick and that it may not be COVID-19 related. To expedite these students returning to school ASAP once they are well, we will accept a negative test result from a home test kit.  Our intent is to provide home test kits which could be used to test your student, allowing them to return to school following a negative test result.  Please know that the supply of these home test kits is limited and we have several on order awaiting delivery.  Students who are considered close contacts and fall under the LACDPH quarantine mandate must remain at home at this time.
 
This link will provide you with a copy of the letter sent to LACDPH for your review.
 
Thank you for your continued trust as we navigate the challenges due to the pandemic.
 
 
Carl Coles

Superintendent