Dear Cypress Community,

We successfully provided our first in-person outing opportunities this week.  Unfortunately, the group planned for today was cancelled due to unhealthy air quality.  The groups that participated the first two days enjoyed their time at Stafford Lake and we all practiced wearing masks, washing our hands and keeping space.  We made the most of a not-so-sunny day as the sky was an unnatural orange with the smoke from the many surrounding fires hovering above the marine layer.  Safety continues to be our top priority as we manage the risks of COVID and the other health hazards including smoke and record-breaking heat. 

Next week, we plan to continue outings and include our current ABA participants that have expressed interest in joining in-person opportunities.  Those of you awaiting approval to participate will be added as soon as possible.  For those beginning next week, I will be contacting you by phone to confirm the plan and sending the new protocols in place to participate.  I must stress that any student or staff member exhibiting symptoms of illness may not participate until they are healthy.  Teachers will provide the health screening questions to confirm student health prior to participation and staff will take student temperatures before entering the vehicle.  We may have to cancel last-minute due to health concerns as we did today, but will continue to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

The latest CDE guidance released last Friday has clarified that cohort size must not exceed 16 total people, allowing for a safe staffing ratio for our students to receive in-person support.  We will make final adjustments to our campus, work in consultation with the health department and coordinate with staff that have their own childcare challenges to allow students to return to in-person on-site instruction soon.  The guidance allows for 25% capacity so we will begin with one day per week for each classroom.  As the guidance changes as frequently as week to week at times, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

For those students who will continue with fulltime distance learning, our team continues to work toward improving our remote program to more fully meet student’s needs.  For all students, distance learning will continue for the majority of their school time, and teachers need your feedback to complete a Distance Learning Plan to successfully implement the IEP to the best of our ability.  School districts are requiring documentation and will only fund services rendered.  Students must participate daily, in whatever way is agreed to between families and teachers, for us to maintain our program and retain our staff.  Please stay in regular communication with your teacher.  Families who want their children to participate with in-person learning opportunities must also attend school through distance learning.  This is vital to Cypress being able to return to in-person opportunities safely, with appropriate staffing levels.  Parents please join us for the Parent’s Meeting scheduled for Monday, 9/15 at 2:30 p.m.

These days it feels as though we are living in a constant state of crisis.  Now more than ever, we must rely on one another as a community for support.  I know for many of us, we feel abandoned and alone.  You are not alone.  Please reach out for support and we will do our best to help however we can.  We cannot count on others swooping in to the rescue.  We have to save ourselves.  We may feel we are not up to this challenge.  I see in this community of staff and families, everyday heroes and the only hope for humanity.   


Nate Yates

Director of Educational and Behavioral Services

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Jen Whalen, Director
Steve Gatlin, Manager
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