John Bowes

Superintendent's Newsletter
March 11, 2022
Dear MBUSD Parents and Community,

I hope this letter finds you well. Today’s message features a spotlight on Mira Costa High School, students qualifying for the VEX Robotics Championship, the latest COVID-19 updates, and much more!

Spotlight on Mira Costa High School (with special thanks to English teacher, Mrs. Lisa Cook, and Principal, Dr. Karina Gerger)

Mira Costa juniors recently finished reading The Great Gatsby in English teacher Lisa Cook’s class. They celebrated the historical period with project-based assignments on fashion, art, music, food, and other aspects of the era. Each day of the week, Mrs. Cook dressed accordingly, inspiring many of her students to do the same. Several students came to class dressed as Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway with their bowties, sparkly hats, and vest suits. This project was also done by 11th graders in Mrs. Quincy Howerton and Mrs. Nicole Wachelle’s class.
Effective March 12 Face Masks in Schools will not be Required, but Remain Strongly Recommended

As a follow-up to our February 28 communication, we would like to remind you that, based on updated guidance from the state and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, face masks will no longer be required at school effective Saturday, March 12, 2022. Masks remain strongly recommended.

We understand and respect that there are differing perspectives regarding mask-wearing. We remain committed to fostering supportive school environments where we respect individual choice for those who choose to continue wearing masks and those who choose not to wear masks. We ask that you also respect and support personal choices and treat each other with respect and kindness. Face masks will continue to be provided upon request. 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is also aligning with the State on other masking updates:

  • Masking for sports is no longer required but is strongly recommended. If masks are not always worn, weekly testing is strongly recommended. Participation in weekly testing is the individual choice of each family/student/coach.

  • Masks for musicians/singers, as well as bell covers and instrument masks, are also strongly recommended. If masks are not always worn during band rehearsals or performances, weekly testing is strongly recommended. Participation in weekly testing is the individual choice of each family/student/staff member. 

For classroom volunteers, we are excited to be able to lift district-wide caps on the maximum number of allowed volunteers. Teachers may determine how many volunteers they wish to allow.

  • Volunteers must meet the same vaccination standards as employees - they must be fully vaccinated (boosters are not required) or they must provide a negative test result (PCR within the last 48 hours or antigen within the last 24 hours).

Please continue to monitor for symptoms and remain home when sick. Students and staff are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms and/or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19.

If a potential exposure occurs on campus, we will notify the affected individuals. In these
circumstances, potentially exposed individuals may remain in school, and there are no quarantine requirements for them outside of school. Masking with an upgraded mask is strongly recommended for at least 10 days, as is testing 3-5 days after the potential exposure. Isolation requirements for individuals with a positive diagnosis will remain in place.

2022-23 School Calendar

Our School Year Calendar is now available here!
Celebrating Social-Emotional Learning Week

This week, every MBUSD school site focused on spreading awareness about the importance of social-emotional learning! Each campus had activities throughout the week, including special guest speakers. The week kicked off with gratitude assemblies at all elementary schools hosted by the Founder/CEO of Little Renegades. Students learned how to be mindful and wrote in their gratitude journals. Check out one of the assemblies here.
At Mira Costa, one of the highlights was a visit by pro-surfer Bruna Zaun, and students were recognized for their artistic submissions to the National PTA Reflections program!
MBUSD’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) focus is on helping students to understand and manage their emotions, show empathy for others, achieve positive goals, maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions, all important skills that students will need to be successful in school and life. SEL programs are shown to increase academic achievement and positive social interactions and to decrease negative outcomes later in life. 

MCHS Choir Performs at the Los Angeles Kings Game

Choir Director Kate Crellin is passionate about showcasing the amazing choir talent and program at Mira Costa to the community. She came up with the idea to submit audition tapes to professional sports teams for an opportunity to perform at the games, including the Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Sparks. The choir auditions were selected by both teams! 

Watch their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner below!
The choir is set to perform at the L.A. Sparks game in May. To learn more about the amazing choir program, visit here.
Grand View Elementary Celebrates Kindness and Black History Month

Grand View Gators showed off their talents by paying homage to African American musicians throughout the decades. Mira Costa Black Scholar’s Union also stopped by for the assembly.

Watch some of the performances below!
Robotics Teams Qualify for National Competition

Two robotics teams from MBUSD recently competed in the VEX Robotics Southern California State Championships. 
Space Pandas from MBMS placed second in the middle school Skills Challenge with 440 points, ranking 21st in the world (in the middle school division). Manhattan Beach Robotics won the high school Skills Challenge with 510 points, ranking 65th in the world (in the high school division). Both teams qualified for the VEX World Championships, which will take place in May in Dallas, Texas! Congratulations!
Thank you to robotics coach Brian Fan and MB/X Foundation - Beyond the Classroom for providing support to make opportunities like this possible for our students. VEX Robotics is the largest competitive robotics program in the world!

20,000 teams from more than 50 countries participate every year.
MBUSD All District Choir Concert

Students from across the District performed their “Build a Bridge” Choir Concert at the Mira Costa High School auditorium. Nearly 240 students from all grade levels participated.
Enroll Today! 2022-23 Enrollment Underway! 

All children who will be five years old as of September 1, 2022, are eligible to enroll in kindergarten, and all children who will be five years old as of February 2, 2023, are eligible to enroll in transitional kindergarten. Click here for enrollment information.

As COVID-19 health and safety updates are constantly changing, we want to make sure you have the latest information in a timely manner on multiple platforms.

Check out our COVID-19 page, which is the main hub for essential updates,
quick links to important resources, COVID-19 policies, and much more! 
Weekend COVID-19 Testing Clinic Continues Through April 9 at Mira Costa!

Don’t forget we are hosting free testing opportunities every Saturday through April 9. You can drop by between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Mira Costa High School student parking lot, located at Peck and Artesia. 

It is open to the community and is a drive-thru testing opportunity. Pre-registration is required before arriving at Mira Costa. We have had some questions in regards to our extra weekend testing opportunity and want to clarify that it is a one time test ONLY and does not register you for any other testing. 

MBUSD’s weekly on-site testing program is open to asymptomatic students and staff members only. If you haven’t done so already, please sign your student(s) up for our weekly testing program. 
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The next Superintendent Newsletter will be published on Friday, March 18.

Thank you for your commitment and support to our MBUSD community. I am proud of the steps we’ve taken to provide our students the in-person, safe and healthy, and high-quality educational experience they deserve.

John Bowes, Ed.D.
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266