COVID-19 Washington Community Letter

March 14, 2020

Dear Washington Families:

I want to begin this message by sharing that I am so grateful for the kindness, understanding, and support families have shown our staff and RBUSD in general during the past 48 hours. It is at this time more than ever that I am truly proud to be a part of such an amazing community. I greatly appreciate that families have been patient and have given us time to process and share information with you. It has been and will continue to be, our goal to make measured decisions based on facts and what is in the best interest for our students.

I have to be candid and share that as a site principal, and educator in general, this has been a very difficult few days. I chose a career in education because I love being able to have a positive impact on the lives of students. As a principal, I love being able to support a community, and in circumstances like this, my heart breaks because we lose the opportunity to maintain and build connections with one another in person. However, this is our reality currently and I will do everything I can to ensure we maintain the sense of community that is vital to a school. 

Please take the time to read this message thoroughly and review the resources linked and attached. I know many families have questions regarding the learning format over the next few weeks and this message will hopefully answer those questions and clarify information. The Washington team appreciates your patience and flexibility as our teachers prepare to provide students with remote online learning. We are here to support families and students throughout these next three weeks and will be readily accessible to answer questions through electronic methods. 

Our superintendent, Dr. Steven Keller, sent all families a message yesterday with updates on the COVID-19 school closure logistics. If you have not seen this letter, please take a minute to read it by clicking here.

Per this notice, please note the following:

  • All Redondo Beach Unified School District campuses as well as the District Office will be closed to all students/families beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through spring break on Friday, April 10, 2020. This includes our CDC and City of Redondo Beach Rec Programs.
  • There is no school for students on Monday, March 16, 2020. However, our campuses will be open to students only for the purpose of students picking up personal belongings and district-issued Chromebooks (3rd – 5th Grade) between the hours of 9 am – 12 pm. Please do not arrive at campus before this time and remember it will be best for families to stagger the times they arrive (ideally not everyone showing up at 9 am). Please note that if your child already has these items at home, there is no need to come to school on Monday. You will receive an email from your child’s teacher by tomorrow evening listing the items your child will need. Please direct any questions regarding this to the classroom teacher. Please also note that this is only a time for families to pick up what they need quickly, not a time to engage in conferencing with your child’s teacher and/or gathering with other families on campus. We are encouraging families to use social distancing practices during this time. By picking items up quickly from the classroom you will help your child’s teacher maximize time to continue to plan for remote instruction. We also ask that you do not overwhelm the front office staff or administration during this time. We will not be available to meet with any parents as we will be assisting teachers and ensuring that all students are able to get what they need from the campus. 
  • Health offices will be open from 9am-12pm on Monday, March 16 in order for all student medications to be picked up, as many may expire during the break. 
  • Washington will be CLOSED to the public after 12 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020. This includes the use of facilities, playground, field, cafeteria, etc. Our front office staff will be available to answer phone calls only. Email is the best form of communication with school leaders, teachers and support providers (special education teacher, counselor, speech therapist, occupational therapist, etc.). We will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner.
  • New student registrations and CDC registrations are suspended until school re-opens. Deadlines for School of Choice, Inter/Intra District Permits, Dual Immersion Applications, and CDC enrollments will be extended once schools reopen. Dual Immersion Spanish proficiency assessments will be rescheduled once schools reopen as well. Please do not come in on Monday to try and finalize kindergarten registrations.

Information from Nutrition Services:

  • Food Pick Up Information  - We recognize that our District’s school closure plan beginning next week will impact students in a myriad of ways.  With that in mind, beginning on Tuesday, March 17, all District students are welcome to come to the Adams Middle School parking lot (2600 Ripley Avenue) to pick up one breakfast and one lunch meal between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 am.  These meals will be provided daily to all students at no charge.  Because our campuses are closed, we ask that students please consume these meals off campus.  Meal service will continue through Friday, April 3, unless otherwise stated.  Important: Students must be present to receive these meals.  Parents may not pick up meals without students.

Additional information we would like for parents to know:

  • All scheduled parent meetings during this time will need to be rescheduled. The school will be in touch with the parents impacted by this directly. Parents of students who have special education services will be contacted directly by the case managers. 
  • Parents of students in Grades 3-5: We understand that students may be experiencing anxiety around missing school time knowing that CAASPP testing is around the corner.  Please assure your child that the state is monitoring the current situation, and that ALL students, districts, and states are in the same scenario, and that our schools and students will NOT be penalized for not being able to take these tests. 

Instructional Plan:

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, your child’s teacher will provide online learning instructions on a weekly basis. You can expect the first message from teachers to be communicated to you by 10 am on Wednesday, March 18. The first message will provide a learning plan for you and what you can expect over the few weeks. The weekly message (either via email or Google Classroom) will contain information on what your child can work on remotely over the course of the week. Each Monday, your teacher will communicate that week’s learning objectives, assignments, and information. It is important that as a family, you ensure that learning activities are completed to prevent any learning loss. 

  • The purpose of the assignments provided is to maintain your child’s academic progress during the school closure. New content and new learning is not our aim. Our online instruction will be focused on preventing learning loss and assignments will be based on previously taught concepts.
  • While our 3rd – 5th-grade students may be proficient with Google classroom and the use of their Chromebooks, we know that there may be questions regarding access to technology for our TK – 2nd-grade students. Teachers will provide students multiple options of practice so that if your technology options are limited, you can still work with your child to complete learning activities. I will share more with you in the coming days regarding technology use, if you have Chromebooks issues, etc. and who to contact in those events.
  • Teachers will continue to collaborate with their grade level colleagues during this time to ensure consistency among each grade level. Teachers will provide a daily, 2-hour block of digital office hours in which they will be readily available for families/students. Those times will be communicated to you by your classroom teacher on Wednesday, March 18, via email.
  • Special education teachers will continue to collaborate with general education teachers and provide accommodations and consultation to support Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals. Service providers (Speech, Occupational Therapist, Counselor, etc.) will continue through a consultative model via email and other online formats to provide support and activities per IEP goals. You will hear more about this in the coming days.

In addition to the information your child’s teacher shares with you in their first email, please consider the following:

  • Take time to review your expectations with your child during this time of school closure. Create routines together and consider setting up a schedule for daily school work and reading. It is important to maintain as much structure to your day as possible for your child/ren. Visual schedules are very helpful, and you can do something as simply writing down the schedule for the day on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. 
  • Take a minute to read the parent guide attached to talking to children about COVID-19.  
  • Consider creating a media contract at home in regards to the use of technology, your expectations as a parent, and access to screen time during school closures.
  • Consider creating an account on Go Noodle for access to brain break activities and videos.
  • Get outdoors! There is rain in the forecast over the next week, but please use any opportunity you can to do activities outside and to engage in outdoor learning activities. 
  • Use the attached document called “7 Ways to Promote Good Study Habits.” 
  • One of the most important things you can continue to do with your children during this time is to READ. There is an abundance of online resources for this, some of which you are already familiar with and use with your children at home. We will continue to send information on what you can access digitally. Here is an excellent guide by Pearson to reading with your child to help get you started

Ongoing Communication:

We will continue to send you resources, articles, and updated information on school and district events throughout this closure. As always, our number one priority is the health and well-being of our students, and we will continue to support students' academic and social-emotional learning in this new format. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher directly. If you have questions not pertaining to your child’s learning plan, please feel free to reach out to me (abittick@rbusd.org), Mr. Estrada (anestrada@rbusd.org), or Stephanie Kieltyka, Administrative Assistant (skieltyka@rbusd.org).

I will continue to send weekly communication during this time, including a weekly E-Blast and updates related to school and district information and events. I have also included a list of events that have been canceled or postponed below. I have been in communication with our PTA president regarding our calendar and we will work together to make adjustments as needed. Our PTA has been wonderful during this time, and I want to thank them for everything they are doing to help support our community. 

Thank you for continuing to demonstrate your support through kind, calm, and empathetic communication. This is something that has impacted all of us greatly, and our lives will be significantly different for a little while. I can assure you we will continue to do our best given the circumstances, and our common goal remains the same: doing what is best for our kids. 

Thank you again for all you do to support our students, staff, and community. I am genuinely grateful to be a part of the Explorer community. 

Please stay healthy and take care. 

With gratitude,

Andrea Bittick, Principal

Washington Elementary


Calendar Updates 

The following events have been canceled or postponed due to school closure and the overall recommendations from the county health department and county office of education. We will notify you of any other events that may be canceled or rescheduled. 

IEP, SST, 504 and other parent meetings will be rescheduled after we return from school closures. 


  • Career Day 3/20
  • Dual Immersion Incoming Spanish proficiency assessments: Postponed until later
  • 5th Grade Fitness Day 3/23
  • Jog A Thon Awards Assembly 3/25
  • Battle of the Books: the student sessions and the competitions scheduled for 3/25 and 4/1/District Competition 4/20
  • STEAM Expo/PTA Election 3/26 (the election will be postponed or we will have an alternate location)
  • 5th Grade Pictures 3/27
  • 1st Grade Field Trip to the Aquarium 3/27
  • School Site Council 3/30
  • Kindergarten Spring Celebration 4/3 
  • Coffee with the Principal 4/3
  • Spring Pictures 4/3 
  • Cultural Assembly: 4/15
  • Talent Show Auditions 4/16
  • Earth Day Fair: 4/17
  • 5th Grade Science Camp 4/21-4/24 (I will email 5th grade families regarding this later this week)
  • Skate Night 4/24
  • RBEF Gala 4/24 (they will still do an online auction)