August 12, 2021
Dear FUSD Community,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you on the first day of school, August 18th! Wednesday, I had the pleasure to be at one of our schools and saw firsthand the excitement from many students and families. Our staff across FUSD is working hard to have a successful launch to the 2021-2022 school year. Many educators are attending professional development activities to support the social-emotional needs of our students through training in Trauma-Informed Practices and Restorative Practices. Our clerical, maintenance, operations, and grounds staff are also working hard to ready sites for our students on August 18th.
Safety remains our top priority as we start this year, along with a focus on reconnecting relationships with students, families, and throughout our school communities. As a parent of two school-aged students, 6th grade and 9th grade, I am also keenly aware that along with excitement there are also other mixed emotions for our students and families. FUSD has taken great efforts to create a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff. I want to share some additional information with you on those important matters.
First, I am thrilled to share that currently over 95% of our students are scheduled to return to in-person instruction on August 18th. As you know, FUSD has provided a virtual academy that is built around the state’s framework for independent study. The default mode of instruction for FUSD will remain in-person instruction. Specific to our Elementary Virtual Academy, as of 4 PM on Friday, any new requests for the Virtual Elementary Program will be placed on a waiting list. Due to increased enrollment in the program, FUSD must pause enrollment for a short period of time to properly calibrate staffing. FUSD will provide enrollment in the virtual program as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these changing circumstances.
Important Safety Information for FUSD, conditions around the virus have changed in the past month, guidance continues to change, and we will continue to adjust, please review the following updates:
Vaccination, COVID-19 Testing, and Governor Newsom’s New Health Order:
Yesterday (8/11/21), the Governor announced that all school employees in California must be vaccinated or they will be tested for COVID-19 weekly. FUSD has been monitoring the trends of COVID-19 including the Delta variant and was already in the process of ramping up our testing programs. We are making final preparations for a weekly testing program available to our staff and our students (students can only be tested with parental consent). This testing model will be in compliance with the state’s new requirements. More information will be forthcoming on the testing program next week.
Earlier this month, FUSD started gathering data on employee vaccination rates. Thanks to the efforts of our staff, and support from community partners such as Haller’s Pharmacy, our initial responses indicate an estimated 95% of our FUSD employees are fully vaccinated!
Our current safety plan is aligned with CDPH guidelines and all staff and students will be wearing masks while on campus (except for medically exempt), unless eating or drinking. This is part of the CDPH recommendations as well as their advice to keep masks on in crowded outdoor settings.
Our HVAC units have had their filters upgraded where possible, and current filters range from MERV 11 to MERV 13. In addition, we’ve installed air purification units in each classroom and the auxiliary spaces on campus as well to help ensure we are supporting strong air filtration standards.
Contract Tracing, Case Investigation, Quarantine:FUSD will conduct contract tracing for all reported cases and make prompt notification to those individuals identified as close contacts, as well as providing general communication to those school sites that may be impacted by and a positive case of COVID-19. All cases will be reported to ACPH, and FUSD will comply with all requirements for quarantine as indicated by CDPH. FUSD will also provide data on our website of positive COVID-19 cases within our schools. The Alameda County Office of Education recently released a chart for families about the quarantine process. COVID-19 Flowchart for Parents | Diagrama de Flujo COVID-19 para Padres | 面向家长的2019冠状病毒病应对流程图
Students will be asked to complete a daily health screener to make sure they are symptom-free before coming to campus, this student screener is a self-attestation and should be completed at home prior to leaving for school students and families do not need to submit the results. However, it is critically important that your students stay home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Keeping FUSD Safe:For a simple reference point, we’ve created this one-page summary of our COVID-19 safety measures.
There are additional components of our comprehensive safety plan, and they can be reviewed here. Additional safety information and protocols will be forthcoming at the beginning of next week as well.
As mentioned above, it is understood that as we start this school year, there will be a mixture of feelings of excitement and apprehension. As we embark on this school year, safety will remain our focus, followed by the need to focus on reconnecting relationships with students, families, and throughout our district. I look forward to working for each of you as we progress through the 2021-2022 school year, and finally meeting many of you in person.
NEW 2021-22 Information on Student Meals