January 14, 2022
Hello FUSD Staff and Community,
Please let me extend my sincere gratitude to each of you for your patience and flexibility in recent weeks. Our entire education system is under intense pressure and strain, and there are no easy solutions to the challenges we face.
FUSD strives to be nimble and responsive as conditions and guidance changes, and have outlined updates below. We understand that new practices can complicate our routines and disrupt expectations, and we appreciate your patience and best effort to stay up-to-date with requirements. I encourage each of us to approach one another with empathy and the assumption that we are all doing our best.
The Omicron surge is adding stress and strain to our system, to the personal and professional obligations of our staff and families. The apprehension, anxiety, and concern some may be experiencing in the face of this surge and associated impacts on all of us in education may bring forward many of the same emotions from March 2020, when we didn’t know what lay ahead of us, and what we could do to protect ourselves and others.
However, there are key differences between today and those early days of the pandemic. We are better prepared to limit transmission in our community and classrooms than when we transitioned to distance learning. We have better tools at our disposal, with access to vaccines and testing, and improved air filtration and more targeted cleaning routines.
The Governor recently issued an Executive Order providing flexibility over the next few months for schools to hire additional staff. We would love our community’s support in meeting the staffing needs of our schools. If you have a Bachelor's Degree and would like to help support our students as a substitute teacher, you can now apply online right away.
If you’d like to help us in another capacity, we’d love to have you join FUSD as a classified employee or substitute, please apply now to help our students, our community and our schools.
We will move forward the best we can, as a school community. Our collective actions and actions at the individual level determine the impact of COVID in our schools throughout this school year.
Thank you for your continued support as we share the responsibility of keeping students and staff safe.
No School Monday, January 17 in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please note that all FUSD schools and offices will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Updates to Daily Screener, Positive Test/Exposure Flow Chart
We will continue to notify staff, students and families of changes to any of our protocols.
Contact Tracing and Exposure Notification Updates
FUSD received new guidance this week on contact tracing that we are in the process of implementing. We are adjusting the notifications parents/guardians and staff receive if there is a positive case at the campus your student attends/at which you work, and differences in the more targeted notifications for individuals who may have been exposed to a positive case.
From an overarching perspective, exposure notifications will be more timely, but also more broad. An example of this model would be when a case occurs, all students/staff in the same classroom with the individual who tested positive will be provided notice of exposure, in addition to others designated as close contacts. These notifications provide recommended or required next steps.
FUSD is continuing to update our COVID-19 Positive Case Data dashboard. Please note that cases that did not create points of exposure on our campuses during the winter break will not be included.
Student & Staff Absences
This week we welcomed students back to FUSD classrooms after our winter break. As anticipated, FUSD saw an increase in absences amongst students and staff over a typical school day.
Approximately 13% of our students were out of school on Monday - whether due to concerns about virus transmission, having a positive test result, being exposed to COVID-19, or any other reason. This is 7% higher than the average student absence rate for recent Mondays.
FUSD had 176 teachers absent on Monday, 62 more absences than the average for recent Mondays, and a small uptick in the number of classified staff absences. We are grateful to the substitute teachers, and certificated site and district staff, who stepped in to cover classrooms.
Continued In-Person Instruction
We recognize the impacts that concerns about virus transmission, gaps in staffing, and missed instruction due to absences have on our students, staff and wider community.
FUSD, along with all other school districts in the state, does not have a mechanism to independently move all students to distance learning under current State regulations. Temporary, targeted closures, specific to any class or site level outbreaks connected to virus spread at school are possible in conjunction and consultation with Alameda County Public Health. Any closure of in person instruction due to staffing (vacancy) needs can only happen via consultation with the Alameda County Office of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
For more detail on the regulations schools must consider in a transition to distance/hybrid instruction, see this presentation that Superintendent CJ Cammack shared at the January 12 meeting of the Board of Education.
There are many questions and concerns from students, staff and our community. We are doing our best to respond with information that is useful and accurate.
Over the past week alone, we’ve seen dynamic and frequent changes in the guidance for isolation and quarantine of both staff and students. There has not been significant changes in the day-to-day operational guidance.
In FUSD we’ve implemented the following protocols and they will remain in place:
Face coverings remain mandatory at school facilities/campuses.
Please support students to consistently use a well-fitting mask. FUSD is continuing to supply all sites with disposable surgical masks for use by staff or students who do not have a proper face covering.
PCR testing for students and staff is available weekly at each school site, and available at the District Office every school day
Air purification units in all classrooms and auxiliary rooms - filters are on hand in the process of being replaced
Weekly testing for student athletes per ACPH/CDPH guidance
Contact tracing and case reporting
Reporting cases to staff and community
2022-23 Enrollment Information
Transitional kindergarten (TK), kindergarten, sibling priority and other new student enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is now available at www.fremont.k12.ca.us/enrollment.
If your student is currently attending an FUSD school, there is no need to re-enroll.