Volume 31



School Updates COVID-19 Policies for January

In an all-school email, President Rick Commons announces schedule for first week January testing, online, in-person
HFCM Communicatie

In an all-school email sent on Thursday, Dec. 23, President Rick Commons announced Harvard-Westlake’s (HW) new COVID-19 policies in response to rapidly increasing case numbers in Los Angeles.
Commons’s email announced that classes on Monday, Jan. 3 are cancelled and COVID testing will be conducted on both HW campuses from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. On this day, students will be able to collect books and materials from their lockers they may need for their classes.
On the following two days, Tuesday, Jan. 4 (Day 4) and Wednesday, Jan. 5 (Day 5), all classes will take place online. Students will receive more information on this before Jan. 3.
In regard to athletics, Commons wrote that in-season high school sports will be able to continue their activities from Jan. 3-5, this includes both games and practices. However, all middle school sports, fall and spring sports, and on-campus club sports will all be suspended until classes resume with in-person instruction.
In August, when HW resumed in-person instruction this school year, all students were required to be fully vaccinated, which at the time meant having two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Recently, the CDC and FDA have recommended booster vaccine shots for everyone over the age of 16 who is eligible,” Commons said in the email. “And it is likely that the CDC and FDA will soon change the definition of fully vaccinated to include a booster shot.”
HW is most likely going to adopt this change as all eligible employees and students are encouraged to receive a booster shot over winter break. In addition, HW will be hosting booster shot clinics in early January.
The overall thoughts of HW students are still difficult to gauge, however Madeline Pimstone ‘25 says that she doesn’t mind online school, and she is in agreement with the schools new COVID policies.
“I don’t mind it [online school] to be honest,” says Pimstone. “Two days doesn’t make a big difference in the scheme of things. I think the school should do what is safest for everyone.”

Update on Monday, Jan. 3:

On Sunday, Dec. 30, the Harvard-Westlake (HW) Community Health Office (CHO) outlined updates on COVID-19 safety measures for January return to school. 

As previously mentioned in the email sent by President Rick Commons on Thursday, Dec. 23, classes on Monday, Jan. 3 (day 3) will be cancelled and COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff will take place. As opposed to the regular pool testing that is usually conducted, the school will be conducting individual testing to better isolate positive cases before in-person instruction resumes. Testing will be hosted on both HW campuses from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. HW asks that all students and employees should test at the campus they usually attend, with the exception of families that have students at both campuses or employees who work on both campuses. After students have completed their drive-thru testing, they will be permitted to collect books and any materials they may need for their online classes. 

There is no new information concerning online instruction; however, teachers will share details with students before Jan. 3. HW’s first day of in-person instruction will be on Thursday, Jan. 6 (Day 6) and pool testing will be administered for all students and faculty on Friday, Jan. 7 (Day 1).

In the spring of 2021 when HW resumed in-person instruction, all students were required to wear KN95 masks. This school year this was changed and students were permitted to wear whatever masks they wanted. The school is choosing to require students and faculty to wear KN95 masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus. 

HW has arranged a booster clinic for a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. This clinic will take place at the upper school on Friday, Jan. 7 (Day 1) in the Feldman-Horn Gallery for all who are eligible. HW is changing the definition of fully vaccinated to include a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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