Cherry blossoms are blooming this week on the LA campus.

I hope that all have found time to relax and recharge over this past week and are ready to return to school on Monday, April 26. We will return to our hybrid model, following the schedule we adopted for third trimester.

While we are all happy to return to in-person learning, the influx of cases on campus before vacation was a powerful example that the Covid19 virus continues to spread in our communities. Driven largely by infections in the under-30 age group, the picture we have to confront today is much different than we faced a year ago. We do know that our strategies of wearing masks, social distancing and following health and safety practices have made transmission in schools a rare occurrence. However, we also know that transmission in the school age population can and does occur in social settings outside of the classroom. Shared rides to school, hanging out in the parking lot before and after practices and socializing outside of school without observing safety protocols can all increase risk: risk of classmates getting sick, school going remote, sports being canceled, and graduation not happening in person. If you have traveled over vacation, please follow our guidelines for testing and quarantine after travel.

In addition, we must all continue to take the daily health screening seriously: please keep your children home if there is any question about exposure to the virus or if any of your family members are showing symptoms. When in doubt, just give the Health Center a call.

We are excited to welcome students and staff back to campus, to restart athletics and performing arts programs, and to finish this school year with in-person celebrations for the Class of 2021. Faculty and staff vaccination rates are climbing, making us less vulnerable to staffing shortages in the coming weeks. However, risk to our student population remains significant and we will continue to adhere to mask wearing in and after school.

We are pleased to be able to invite spectators to outdoor games, meets, and performances in the coming weeks. All visitors, even vaccinated, must wear masks and maintain social distance and family pods while on campus. Please help us all enjoy the spring by adhering to these guidelines.

I have no doubt we can rise to this challenge together. We have weathered this pandemic for more than a year by believing in each other’s best and by making decisions that most benefit everyone.

Be well and stay safe.

Jeffrey S Burroughs