John Bowes
Superintendent's Newsletter
November 5, 2021
Dear Manhattan Beach Unified School District Families and Staff,

I hope this letter finds you well. Today’s message focuses on school volunteers helping out at Grand View Elementary, a special performance by the Mira Costa Choir at Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, a salute to Veterans Day, COVID vaccination approval for students ages 5-11, and a reminder about cold and flu season.

Spotlight on Grand View Elementary School Library's Book Shelving Project (With thanks to Library Media Specialist Heidi Snively for this update)

Grand View Library Media Specialist Heidi Snively is excited to report that as of mid-October two parent volunteers at a time helped shelve library book returns twice a week when students are not present. With students checking out and returning hundreds of books every day, the parents’ help with shelving returns is very much appreciated! Mrs. Snively credits Grand View Principal Tara Grings with expediting the library volunteer process by creating a Google form that allows parents to upload their COVID vaccine status and other health and safety information prior to volunteering. This is the first time that parent volunteers have been able to help in the Grand View library since March 2020! Welcome Back!
GV Library volunteers
Choir Performs at First Zoomless Board Meeting Since 2020

This past Wednesday, we were thrilled to welcome students from the Mira Costa choirs to the first Board of Education meeting open in-person to the public since March 2020. The choir wowed all in attendance with a stirring rendition of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, and you can view that performance below.
veterans memorial
Veterans Day

November 11 is a time to officially recognize and thank all those who have served, and currently serve, in our country’s armed forces. The City of Manhattan Beach will hold its 24th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony next Thursday, November 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Veterans Parkway and please see details about that event here. To all veterans and those currently serving . . . Happy Veterans Day!
COVID Vaccination

In the short span of time since October 26, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup have endorsed and provided approval for the use of a lower dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. 

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) has been preparing for this moment and will be providing vaccine clinic sites in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach starting November 8. Here are three important resources:
  1. The full schedule, which includes nine total opportunities for Beach City families to get a first dose vaccine at a BCHD clinic, can be found here
  2. You can register for an appointment at - appointments and walk-ins are available now. You may also be able to secure an appointment through your primary care physician, local drug stores, and other authorized providers.
  3. For direct links to the BCHD clinics with step-by-step instructions about how to register and additional FAQs, as well as maps, please go to

Our schools’ health and safety efforts are focused on ensuring our ability to continue to support and provide daily in-person instruction for our students. While this latest vaccine authorization can provide students ages 5-11 the same protection against COVID as older students and adults, and while we continue to urge all eligible community members to get vaccinated, please know there is no locally-mandated COVID vaccine requirement for students, nor has this been a topic of discussion with our Board of Trustees.

We are working hard to take as many off ramps from all of our COVID-related restrictions as possible and to create as normal a school year as we can. Wearing masks indoors on all MBUSD school campuses and outdoors on our elementary and middle school campuses remains a requirement of our Modified Quarantine program described in last Friday’s Superintendent’s Newsletter. Another step to help provide another layer of protection against COVID for students and staff is our on-campus COVID testing program.

COVID Testing

MBUSD has launched an important, free, voluntary school-based COVID testing program for our students to provide safe and healthy classrooms and campuses. Regular voluntary COVID testing helps us to identify cases proactively and early and allows us to prevent further infection by isolating people with positive diagnoses and alerting close contacts to possible exposure.

If your student is not already enrolled in our free weekly on-campus COVID testing program, we encourage you to provide your consent for them to participate by completing the registration form here - you only need to fill it out once. Please note that there are no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing. By federal law, an insured person can get a COVID-19 test when needed from any provider, in or out of their health plan network, at no cost, and the government pays for tests for those without health coverage. Learn more about our on-campus vaccination program here and more about testing-related health care rights here.

Cold and Flu Season

With the onset of cold and flu season, it is important to remember that anyone who has symptoms should not come to school. COVID, cold, and flu symptoms overlap, and while in the past we may have sent symptomatic students to school because “it’s only a little cold” or “there’s a test scheduled for today that they can’t miss” or “they can power through,” this is no longer the case. If your student is symptomatic, please keep them home until they are well, and please consider seeking a COVID test to rule out the possibility of a COVID-19 infection. In addition, as a reminder, please consider getting a flu shot to help protect your family and our community from widespread flu outbreaks.
Board Meeting Attendance

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Wednesday, November 17 at 5:00 p.m. at the District Office, and the public is welcome to attend that meeting. To provide public comment, you may submit a written comment here or you may come to the District Office Board Room at 5:00 pm and submit a public comment card to be invited to speak in person at the podium during the Board meeting. Public commenters may speak in person from either inside or outside the Board Room. The public is welcome to attend the full meeting and to listen and watch as the Board conducts its business. For those who cannot attend in person, you may watch the meeting on our Livestream channel. Prior meetings may be viewed on our BoardDocs agenda platform.

Thank you for everything you do to keep our community great.
John Bowes, Ed.D.
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266