Mako Message #34

Community Update May 1, 2022

Hello Mako families!

Para español, haga clic en el boletín de noticias y en el botón traducir en la parte superior derecha.

State Testing

For the next few weeks, our students will be participating in the annual state test called SBAC.

Students in grades 3-5 participate in this test that measures their grade level skills in reading and math.

Our teachers and students have been working hard to prepare for this very important test. If you have a child in grades 3-5, please make sure they arrive to school on time, get plenty of rest, eat a healthy breakfast at home or at school and try their best!

Please click the links below for more information:

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Elementary Start Time for the 2022-2023 School Year

California Senate Bill 328 requires all public and charter middle schools and high schools to make adjustments to bell schedules so that high schools begin no earlier than 8:30 am and middle schools begin no earlier than 8:00 am. There is no requirement for elementary schools. This bill was approved on October 13, 2019, and, even after years of litigation and advocacy, will go into effect on July 1, 2022. Because of this new legislation, Vista Unified high schools must adjust their bell schedules for the 2022-2023 school year.

These adjustments may affect the start times at middle and elementary schools due to traffic patterns, transportation, staffing, and other considerations.

We value the voices of our community as we address Senate Bill 328, which will impact bell schedules at Vista Unified schools. We invite all parents, teachers, staff, and students to join us for one of our virtual community forums and/or complete the community survey that is linked below. At the May 5th Board Meeting, the Board will consider your responses and feedback as they discuss, and ultimately vote on, adjustments to bell schedules in order to comply with the requirements of Senate Bill 328.

Community Surveys

Community Forums

  • Monday, May 2nd from 5:30 - 6:30 pm - Zoom Link
  • Tuesday, May 3rd from 5:30 - 6:30 pm - Zoom Link

District Summer School Program

The district will be hosting a summer school program at various sites this year. Our students are invited to attend at Bobier Elementary. There is a limited number of space!

District summer school theme is “Splash into Summer, The Wonders of Water”

  • June 13th - July 1st, M-F (no school June 20th)

  • Incoming 1st - 5th graders 3.5 hour student day

  • Breakfast and a sack lunch to take home. Teachers will do

  • ELA - Readworks & Signs for Sounds (1st & 2nd) Math- Math For Love, Mystery Science, & Myon.

    • Enrichment weekly for each class through Kids College, PE, and several community programs coming in to do assemblies including Splash Lab.

Due to our limited number of classes the district created criteria for students to be invited.

Students that are being invited to this summer school opportunity will receive an invitation tomorrow, Monday May 2. If you would like your child to participate, please return the permission slip and emergency contact information card by Friday, May 6.

This program will be located at Bobier Elementary this year. Transportation will not be provided, so please take that into consideration.
If you already have plans, please return the permission slip and mark the "no" option on the permission slip. This will allow us to invite someone else!

Strategic Planning Community Installation

We are nearing the end of our strategic planning process. Community involvement has been fantastic so far. We have planned one final event, called the Community Installation, where members of the community will be able to see our collective work on display in draft form and provide their final thoughts before it goes to the School Board of Trustees for final discussion and approval. Please join us on May 7th at 10 a.m. in the VIDA gym.

Over the past year, the Strategic Planning Team and Guiding Coalition members came together multiple times to analyze data and VUSD’s current mission, vision, and values. We want to commend the Guiding Coalition members for their outstanding effort and commitment to creating a bright future.

Using feedback gathered from our community, the Guiding Coalition has now created the final draft versions of our Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits. At the Community Installation, you will be asked to share your feedback on the final drafts of the Graduate, Adult, and Systems Portraits, which will influence the future of our students, adults, and community for years to come. Please see our Community Installation flyer in English and Spanish, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Please join us on May 7th for the Strategic Planning Community Installation.

The Strategic Planning Team and Guiding Coalition members came together to analyze data from our Community Engagement Series and, using feedback from community stakeholders, created final draft versions of our Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits. At the Community Installation, participants will have a final opportunity to share their feedback on the final drafts of these portraits which will influence the future of our students, adults, and community for years to come.

Early Education Fair

Our 6th Annual Early Childhood Education Fair will be held on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at VIDA, and everyone is invited to attend. This is a wonderful community-wide event that will bring in 2,000 students, families, staff, and community partners. Students and parents will not only have the opportunity to learn more about our schools and the programs that we offer but also be connected to resources from our community partners.

Buses are available throughout the day from Foothill Oak and Casita. More information will be posted on the Family and Community Engagement Network website.

Please see the flyer for additional information.

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Strawberry Festival

Historically, Vista Unified has had great participation in the Strawberry Festival, with special attention for students and staff participating in the Strawberry Run.The Strawberry Festival is scheduled for May 29th. Students get a registration discount, and $3 from each registration goes to the schools. Hope to see you there to support our beautiful city.

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Governor Delays COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements in Schools

Last week, the governor’s office announced that the state will further delay the implementation of the student COVID-19 vaccination requirement for school attendance. Additionally, on April 14th, Senate Bill 871 was placed on hold. Introduced by Senator Pan, SB 871 would add the COVID-19 vaccination to the list of mandated vaccines required for students. The State of California announced last October that full approval by the FDA was a precondition to initiating the rulemaking process, adding the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance. The FDA has not yet fully approved COVID-19 vaccines for children within the 7-12 grade span. This means that the soonest the new requirement could take effect is July 1, 2023, effectively pushing back implementation to the 2023-24 school year. As a result, there will be no COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students for the 2022-23 school year.

SARC Report Available Online

The purpose of the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) is to provide parents and the community with important information about each public school. A SARC can be an effective way for a school to report on its progress in achieving goals. The public may also use a SARC to evaluate and compare schools on a variety of indicators.

The SARC includes:

  • Demographic data
  • School safety and climate for learning information
  • Academic data
  • School completion rates
  • Class sizes
  • Teacher and staff information
  • Curriculum and instruction descriptions
  • Postsecondary preparation information
  • Fiscal and expenditure data

Our SARC can be found on our website in Spanish and English, and a hardcopy of the site SARC is available upon request at the school site.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

On April 30th, the communities of Vista, Oceanside, and Carlsbad can participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Sponsored by the Vista Community Clinic, the event collects unused prescription drugs and ensures safe disposal. This is one small but mighty step in protecting our children from misusing prescription medication.

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Registration Survey for the 2022-2023 School Year

We need to start planning for the upcoming school year! Please fill out the registration survey so we can plan for the next school year. This survey allows you to let us know what your plans are for the upcoming school year. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us plan for next year!

Registration Survey Click Here

Needs Assessment

We need your feedback! Every year, the school site asks for feedback on how we can improve our services, educational program, and interventions. Our greatest academic needs are in the areas of math and reading. The information we gather from this feedback will be used to prioritize how we use our funding in the upcoming school year. Our School Site Council will review this information during our next meeting and approve our new Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) based on the greatest needs that you will help to identify. This information will help us better determine how we can help support you and your students. Thank you all for taking the time to complete this survey!

CLICK HERE to take the Survey

Library Update

ASES After School Program

Hello Families!

Would you like your students to be part of the ASES after school program next year at Maryland? The ASES program offers before and after school childcare, tutoring, enrichment and so much more! Spots are limited so apply now! Click the link below to apply.

Applications are due by May 13.

Vaccination Clinics in Vista

COVID-19 Testing Clinics in Vista

TK and Kinder Registration is Now Open

TK and Kindergarten registration for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year is now open!

For Kindergarten: The child must turn 5 by September 1, 2022.

Vista Unified is beginning the process of expanding Transitional Kinder programs being offered to families. This is a five year roll out and next year is the implementation year expanding the birthday range to September 2 - February 2. This is an additional two months of 4 year olds being offered the TK program. If you child is turning 5 between September 2 to February 2, they can enroll in TK for the upcoming year!

Transition From SASEA Testing

We recently began offering students weekly testing through our partnership with Inspire Diagnostics. Our testing date is every Tuesday. We are no longer offering testing through the SASEA project as a result of this new partnership. If you would like to have your student tested weekly for COVID-19, please submit the two new forms. The links are provided below. There is no obligation and this is only offered as a service to our families.

If you are interested in participating in weekly testing, please complete the form below and pre register with Inspire Diagnostics ( Only students who have returned this form will be tested. If you have already registered with Inspire Diagnostics at a district testing site, you do not need to register again.

To complete the online form go to Parent Permission for Student COVID-19 Testing.

This is a two step process:

1. Register with Inspire Diagnostics.

2. Fill out the Parent Permission for Students

Optional Weekly COVID-19 Testing

Optional Weekly Testing Available for Students

With our school procedure shifting to Group Tracing, we understand that receiving a group notification letter and testing an exposed student can be challenging. We have developed a plan to help. We are excited to announce that weekly COVID testing is coming to your student's school. If your student participates, they will be tested once a week and will no longer have to test each time they are exposed at school.

This is not a requirement but a service we are providing to help simplify the testing process for your family. Starting Tuesday, February 8th, Inspire Diagnostics will be visiting our school every week to conduct PCR tests on students signed up for our weekly testing program. The test results will be sent directly to you, the parent. Please call the school with any positive result.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the form below and pre-register with Inspire Diagnostics ( Only students who are pre-registered with Inspire and who are signed up using the link below will be tested. If you have already registered with Inspire Diagnostics at a district testing site, you do not need to register again.

To complete the online form, go to Parent Permission for Student COVID-19 Testing.

This is a two step process:

1. Register with Inspire Diagnostics.

2. Fill out the Parent Permission for Students

COVID-19 Group Tracing Notification

Any student who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes (within a 24-hour time period) in a shared indoor airspace (e.g., classroom) with someone with COVID-19 during their period of infectiousness will receive a group notification rather than contact tracing to identify individual contacts. Click HERE to view the official group-tracing notification that the parent will receive.

Covid-19 Weekly Reporting at Maryland Elementary

In order to keep our families informed on Covid-19 cases in our school, we will be utilizing the following procedures:

All families will be notified weekly of our Covid-19 cases in this section of the Health and Safety section of our newsletter.

If your student is identified as a "close contact" of a Covid-19 positive person on campus, you will be notified immediately by email, text, and phone.

To view Covid-19 cases for the entire district, visit the VUSD Covid-19 Case Dashboard.

Maryland Elementary Week of April 17- April 23: 0 COVID-19 cases

Being fully vaccinated continues to be the best way to combat the COVID-19 virus. Now, everyone five years of age and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This past week, over 220 students, ages 5-11, received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at our two-day event co-sponsored with Costco. The next opportunity for this age group will be December 21 and 22 at the Vista Innovation Center. For those 12 years and older, vaccinations and boosters are available every day. We encourage those who are interested to take advantage of this opportunity to “Get Vista Vaccinated.”

Masks Strongly Recommended, but No Longer Required

Starting March 14th, the latest guidance around mask wearing on K-12 campuses will change from masks being required to strongly recommended. While this change in mask guidance may be welcome news for some students and families, others could be feeling uncomfortable or have concerns about removing masks indoors.

To help alleviate any fears students and families may have, it is important to note that numerous factors went into this decision, including growing vaccination rates throughout our county and state and the more recent downward trend of positive COVID-19 cases. Rest assured, our schools will continue a variety of safety protocols and procedures to keep our students and staff safe.

It is important to recognize that anxious students do not need to rush into removing their masks; they can make this change gradually, as they feel comfortable. In keeping with our district values, all students and staff will be expected to respect each other and honor the decision each person makes about wearing a mask. The following online resources may assist parents ease their child’s fears during this transition:

Coping with Anxiety as Mask Mandates Lift (Michigan Health)

How to Deal With Bullying Over Face Masks in School (Boston Children’s Hospital)

Reassuring Children (Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion)

As always, our amazing support staff of counselors, social workers, and family liaisons are available for students and families. It has been an unprecedented two years, and we recognize that change can be challenging. Thank you for your continued support. We are all in this together.

Short Term Independent Study

When your child is out on Quarantine for either Covid-19 symptoms or exposure, we need to provide them with Independent Study, in order for them to receive attendance credit. The Form gives us permission to give them attendance credit if and when they complete the work that is provided to them, by their classroom teacher. Of course, if your child is ever too sick to do any schoolwork, you can always let the teacher know that they will not need any work, whether you have filled the form out or not.

Here is the link again, please let us know if you have any questions.

If your student is out on quarantine, they can log in daily with a live teacher to get homework support. The zoom meeting will be daily from 8:00am to 8:30am. The zoom link can be found on the teacher's canvas page.

The work your student completes while they are off campus allows them to receive attendance credit. Please consider filling out the form! Please contact our office if you need any help or have any questions.

Call to Action

Our school district recently sent out the following important information:

"We have completed eight days of school so far this year. Our health and safety procedures are working well. We are now focusing on taking every action necessary to reduce the impact of quarantine procedures on students. We need your help to commit to the following actions. Thank you for your consideration. Let’s keep kids in school.

Health and Safety Call to Action for Parents

  • Action #1: Notify your school immediately if your child or any member of your household becomes ill with COVID-19.
  • Action #2: Keep your child home from school if they have ANY of the symptoms listed on the decision tree guidelines (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea).
  • Action #3: Keep your child home from school if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. They should NOT return to in-person learning until given a return date by our nursing staff. This includes exposure to someone living in the home who is positive.
  • Action #4: Do not send your child back to school if the child or anyone in the household is awaiting a COVID-19 test result. Only send your child back if they have a negative test result or if they have completed the entire quarantine period.
  • Action #5: Have your child vaccinated if they are 12 to 17 years old. Remember, your child will not need to be quarantined if they come in close contact at school if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic. The vaccination will keep them in school and able to participate in all of the extracurricular activities like athletics, band, dance, ASB, etc.

If we can proactively respond to these five calls to action, then we can dramatically reduce the impact of quarantine on all students."

Students can be dropped off between 7:30am-8:00am. Students cannot be dropped off before 7:30am, as there is no supervision. School starts promptly at 8:00 and it is important for your child to start on time.


Masks are required indoors at all K-12 schools in California. Students are not required to wear their masks outdoors, but may choose to wear them outside.


We are happy to provide breakfast to all students and second chance breakfast at recess.

Entry Points

Students can enter the campus from one entry point. See the map below. Students enter campus and go to the designated waiting area on the blacktop and/or get breakfast.

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Hi Families,

TK/Kindergarten Students and Siblings

TK/Kindergarten students and siblings can be picked up from the bus loop. Please do not block the exit of the bus loop!

Siblings will meet students in the bus loop for dismissal. Only people on the emergency contact list can pick up.

Dismissal Times for TK/Kindergarteners and Siblings will be at the following times:

Mondays-- 12:43pm

Tuesdays-Fridays-- 2:11pm

Grades 1-5

Students without Kindergarten siblings will be dismissed from the back Mako parking lot. Please see the maps below.

Dismissal Times for all other students Grades 2-5 will be at the following times:

Mondays-- 12:53pm

Tuesdays-Fridays-- 2:21pm

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Hey Parents!

Please see our handbook for any questions


Remind Application


Please download the Remind App to your phone. It's a new form of communication that the district will be using to share important information. We will continue to use ClassDojo and Remind for our communications.

Upcoming Events and Calendar

District Calendar: HERE