March 22, 2021
Special Board Meeting to Discuss Secondary School Reopening Set for Tuesday
We will be holding a special board meeting on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 to discuss secondary school reopening. The meeting with include closed session at 5:00 p.m. to discuss the recent lawsuit (Case No. 37-2021-00007536-CU-WM-NC) filed on behalf of a number of students in San Diego County schools (including Vista Unified) that challenged the ability of the California Department of Public Health to restrict students in secondary schools from returning to in-person instruction. We will then hold an open session meeting starting at 6:00 p.m. to discuss secondary school reopening, the lawsuit, and the implications of the recent March 20th revision to the CDPH guidelines that removed the requirement for the distance between student chairs to be no less than four feet. Please note that there is a court proceeding scheduled for April 1st as it relates to the lawsuit. This meeting will be held virtually and will be live streamed for the public. Please visit our website for more details.
The reason we included this development in the Community Update is because the change in the CDPH guidelines directly addresses the formal safety review request (exemption) that Vista Unified filed with the California Department of Public Health. On February 18, 2021, the board directed staff to file an exemption with CDPH to request clearance to return all secondary students who chose Vista Classic back to in-person learning full time, five days a week once the district entered the Orange Tier. The Vista Unified exemption was reviewed and approved by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency on February 27, 2021. The exemption was then submitted to CDPH on the same day. We have not yet received a response from the CDPH team; however, CDPH did dramatically revise the new guidelines to align to the new federal CDC guidelines, removing any requirement for special distancing, therefore removing any restrictions from returning to full time in-person learning.
Spring Break is Almost Here
Vista Unified is set to be on Spring Break the week of March 29, 2021. Our schools will be closed for this week; however, a limited number of activities such as high school sporting events, will continue during the break. We will resume instruction on Monday, April 5, 2021. Please join us as we continue to follow the health and safety measures during the break to keep everyone safe and to ensure that when students and staff return to school, we do not have a spike in cases. That means wear a mask around others, wash your hands often, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing, and be kind and patient with each other.
Health and Safety Update
COVID-19 case rates over the past seven days have continued to fall, allowing San Diego County to enter the Red Tier, or Tier 2, in the state’s four-tiered Blueprint for a Safe Economy. This week’s reported numbers show an adjusted case rate down from 8.8 to 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents. The testing positivity percentage decreased from 3.3% to 2.8%. The 6-zip code data also reflect a decrease from an unadjusted daily case rate of 7.2, down from 9.8, and a testing positivity decline to 3.6%, down from 4.8%. So far, over 700,000 residents of San Diego County have received at least one dose of the two-shot vaccine, and 16% have been fully vaccinated, inching us closer to the goal of 70% of San Diego County vaccinated by July 1st.
Linda Rhoades to Become a Vaccination Site
For the past five months, the Linda Rhoades Recreation Center has served our community as a COVID testing center. Back in November, our very own superintendent Dr. Doyle was one of the first to participate in asymptomatic testing. On March 30, 2021, the Linda Rhoades Recreation Center will begin to shift its services away from COVID-19 testing to focus on providing vaccinations. In order to maintain our COVID testing cadence for teachers and school staff, we are in the process of transitioning to school-based testing with a new company that has been vetted by the county health agency (HHSA). Vista Unified is grateful to the Linda Rhoades Center and its community partners for their unwavering commitment to keep our school community healthy and safe.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District