Letter from Superintendent - Mike Swize, Ed.D.

  • Hello PSUSD families!

    It is an honor and pleasure to welcome our students and families back for the 2022-23 school year which begins for all students on Wednesday, Aug. 10. If you are new to Palm Springs Unified, welcome, and thank you for choosing to become part of our district family. Know that our site and district staff are here to provide you with any information or assistance you need now or in the future.

    You will receive any necessary site-specific information from your school principal(s) prior to the start of school. I wanted to share some information of importance to all of our families. In adherence with state legislation passed in 2020, we have new start times this school year. All of our comprehensive high schools and middle schools will begin at 8:45 a.m. Mount San Jacinto High and Edward Wenzlaff Education Center will start at 8:30 a.m. Elementary schools begin at 7:45 a.m. Cielo Vista Charter begins at 8 a.m. for all students. Dismissal times vary slightly per school.

    While there is no mask “mandate” at this time, you have likely heard that there continue to be new variants of COVID-19 that are affecting the numbers of affected individuals, and we want to ensure we are doing everything possible to reduce the spread of these variants among students and staff. To that end, we encourage students and staff to wear masks indoors, continue frequent hand washing and sanitizing and maintain distancing whenever possible. We also encourage all who are eligible to consider vaccinations and keep up to date on boosters. All of our updated COVID-19 protocols can be found on the attached document. PSUSD in partnership with Desert Oasis Healthcare is hosting four vaccine and booster clinics, with the first one scheduled for tomorrow. Schedule and more information is attached. We remind you to please keep your child home if exhibiting any symptoms and adhere to protocols should your child test positive for the virus. You have received or will receive within the next few days, additional home testing kits to help with monitoring as well. We will continue to provide daily testing at all of our school sites for students and staff, and testing for families is also available daily at our District Administration Center and Edward Wenzlaff Education Center for all staff, students or family members who need or want it, and our health staff will provide direct information to families of children who have possible exposure to a possible case and guidance on next steps. We are hopeful that we will not need to restrict activity. At the same time, the health and safety of our students and staff is always our first priority so we must remain flexible and ready to make changes as needed to maximize keeping everyone safe.

    We know that some of our students and their families are still dealing with challenges following COVID-19 and distance learning. Please know that there are counselors at each of our school sites and therapists and support staff in our mental health department who are available to provide assistance. Contact your school site or our mental health department at (760) 416-1360.

    On behalf of our Board of Education, administration, and staff, we wish you a wonderful 2022-23 school year. We look forward to welcoming all of our students on Wednesday, Aug. 10 for the beginning of a productive and successful school year.

    Mike Swize, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools