September 20, 2021
Hello FUSD Staff and Community,
In our first 23 days of school this year, I’ve been grateful to visit many of our school sites. In each of my first 15 school site visits, I’ve been so impressed with the work of our dedicated staff, the perseverance of our students, and the engagement of our parents/guardians. I recognize for our staff, our students, and our community, this year carries the critically important responsibility for each of us to be vigilant about health and safety measures. Thank you all for your continued focus on this important work as we share the responsibilities for keeping students and staff safe.
As a community, we also share a collective responsibility to keep our school environments safe. Recently, you may have heard about a TikTok trend centered around students stealing from their school and/or damaging their school facilities. Please know that any behavior related to damaging school property, stealing school property, or otherwise impeding the safe and secure operations of our schools will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate consequences in accordance with FUSD policies. I am hopeful this message can serve as a reminder that FUSD is always better when everyone is working together. Perhaps we can help make kindness the next viral social media trend.
FUSD is working hard across the entire organization to continually modify and improve our practices to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in our schools. As of Friday, September 17, 2021, FUSD has had 80 cases of COVID in our schools and other sites. Of course, we continue to want the number of active cases to be zero in FUSD.
As part of our continued efforts to provide timely and transparent communication to our community, we’ve updated our web page for case reporting. This updated format provides some additional reporting context about the number of active cases within a 14-day time period, along with a cumulative total of cases. As a reference point, the active case rate in FUSD as of September 17, 2021 was 0.05%.
Additionally, as it relates to COVID-19, I’d like to provide a reminder regarding the “modified quarantine” process for high school students. Should a high school student (attending a high school that allows off-campus lunch) be considered a close contact to a known case, that student is not permitted to go off campus for lunch as part of their modified quarantine. Modified quarantine is only permitted for the students who remain on campus for lunch and within the structured setting of our school supervision. This requirement is part of the CDPH/ACPH guidance.
SAT and PSAT
The SAT and PSAT will be administered at FUSD high schools on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. Each 10th grade student will be provided a PSAT to take free of charge. 11th grade students were eligible to sign up for the PSAT in early September and 12th grade students were eligible to sign up to take the SAT.
Students will test at their home school. On test day, students who are testing should report to school at the usual time and follow the directions from administration on where you will test. Each school will send reminders and updates to students as the test date approaches. FUSD updates can be found on the College Prep Assessments page.
FUSD recently locked in savings of $13.7 million for local taxpayers by refinancing existing general obligation bonds. Following District Board approval on August 25, 2021, District staff moved quickly to position the bonds to enter the market.
The District took advantage of historically low rates and replaced prior bonds with an interest rate of 4.00% with new bonds at an all-inclusive interest rate of 2.66%. This interest rate reduction of 1.34% was achieved without extending the original repayment term. Taxpayers will see savings in the form of lower property tax bills over the life of the bonds.
Combined with the recent savings of $13.7 million, taxpayer savings from the refinancings in October 2020 and August 2021 now total $22.2 million. FUSD is so grateful to our community for the support of Measure E and FUSD will continue working to be active, responsible stewards of these important public resources.
It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet so many of our students in person and I can’t wait to see more of our staff, students, and families during my visits this week.