As we wrap up the first quarter of the 2021-22 school year, we remain grateful for our students, staff, and families. We have the benefit of being on school sites regularly and are overwhelmed by the tenacity, positivity, and high quality learning that is occurring in every corner of our campuses, from classrooms and libraries to playgrounds and fields. Students are engaged; teachers and support staff are busy; and the joy of being ‘in’ school is palpable! Likewise, visits to our new Home Instead Innovation Academy are equally impressive, with teachers working tirelessly to engage students virtually while on-campus elective options such as STEM, Inventions, Folk Art, Video Production, Gardening, and Sign Language provide outstanding social and academic enrichment opportunities.
As you are aware, Governor Newsom made an announcement on Friday, October 1, 2021, regarding a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for K-12 students. We want to reiterate to our families that Temecula Valley Unified is not currently implementing this new COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Like you, we were notified of the order through the Governor’s streamed press conference, which is merely a statement of what he intends to issue officially. The written order has not been issued or made public for review. According to our education sources and initial assessments, the mandate will likely not go into effect until July 2022. We also understand a key component of the order states:
“Requirements established by regulation, not legislation, must be subject to exemptions for both medical reasons and personal beliefs.” (HSC section 120338). This means that since the mandate is currently established by executive order, medical, religious, and personal belief exemptions will be accepted. Senate Bill 277 has a caveat that when a new vaccine is added to the list of current requirements, there may be an exemption for personal beliefs.
Temecula Valley Unified continues to be a strong supporter of parental rights to the fullest extent of the law. We will continue to advocate for our community and parent choice.
There are currently legal actions in the California regarding mandates for K-12 around pandemic regulations such as vaccines, masks, and quarantining. These arguments are scheduled to be heard in November.
Please stay tuned for additional updates, as we expect additional information soon and will continue to share details as soon as we receive them.