Circling the News reported on November 10 (“Private Schools Are Reopening in Pacific Palisades) that four private schools in the Palisades had been granted a waiver to bring back students in grades transitional kindergarten through second grade. The schools included Calvary Christian, Corpus Christi, Seven Arrows and Westside Waldorf.
CTN spoke to Village Head of School John Evans on November 17, just after the school had been granted a waiver from L.A. County to expand its re-opening. They had applied on October 23 and received a site visit from the County on October 29.
“We will still take a slow and steady approach adhering to all protocols and making sure our entire community feels safe and sound and ready and willing,” Evans wrote in a November 17 email. “This is good news for our second graders and getting them back next.”
Evans said the school had started a fifth- and sixth-grade conditioning class on campus on October 26, and that transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade have all been on campus two days a week.
“We hope that after Thanksgiving, we will gradually be able to add second, third and fourth grades and that second grade could resume classes on December 7,” Evans said. The goal is to give every student a chance for on-campus instruction before the end of the year.
Regarding Covid-19 and returning to school, Evans said, “You’re dealing with not only the emotions and feelings of the kids, but also parents and teachers in ensuring there is a successful transition.”
St. Matthew’s was contacted about its back-to-school status. It’s the only private elementary school that has not yet received a waiver (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/school-waiver-applications.htm).
Enne Michael, the director of marketing and communications for St. Matthew’s Parish School, responded on November 17 to a CTN query asking if students were on campus.
“We currently have Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade on campus, as well as other students who fall into the Special Services category, Michael said. “Altogether, we have over 50 percent of our students attending various forms of on-campus learning opportunities!”
Asked if the school had applied for a TK-2 waiver, she said, “Yes, and are awaiting a reply.”
Michael was asked when the school applied for the waiver, but she did not respond by posting time. The story will be updated.
Public schools have not reopened in Pacific Palisades. When CTN made fun of the filming that was happening at Palisades Charter High School with unmasked teens as “students,” the response was immediate:
* “Bravo at making this point. I’ve been talking for months about how it’s obscene how L.A. has prioritized everything else over kids, including tattoo and massage parlors.”
* “I have a lot of friends in production and I am happy they are working…[But] it just goes to show…follow the money. Larry David was filming ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ last week using Temescal for base camp. I was yelling, ‘C’mon Larry, if you can film, why can’t my kid go to school!?’ So frustrating.”