September 8, 2021
Health and Safety
We are excited to announce that we have 19,169 students engaged in learning in-person with their teachers and their peers. We have 366 students who have elected to enroll in our new Vista Virtual learning model. Similar to every school district in the county, we have reported quite a few COVID-19 positive cases that have resulted in quarantined groups of students. Specifically, in the first full week of class, we had just over 886 students quarantined due to close contact (approximately 4% of Vista Unified students). This last week, we had fewer, with 790 of students in quarantine. Almost all of the quarantined students are able to return to class after ten calendar days as a result of the new COVID-19 decision tree. The fact that we are able to keep 96% of students engaged in learning when the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county is 5.8% is testament to the hard work of our staff, the vigilance of our students to wear masks while indoors, and the support of parents.
We have continuously worked with our local and county partners to provide our school community with the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in our community. Being informed about the effects of COVID-19 on our schools, students, and families is the best way to make educated decisions about how to combat this pandemic. The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and Live Well San Diego have combined their efforts to create a well-researched Surveillance Report, highlighting where we are as a community in our fight against COVID-19. This is a fantastic report that we will post to our webpage every week to keep everyone informed.
Vaccination is the Key to Success
While we have excellent systems in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses, our local vaccination rate compared to other regions in San Diego County is very low. Throughout San Diego County, the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals ages 12-17 years old is 56.8%. When compared to 12-17 year olds in North County, the rate drops significantly to 20.4%. While we have seen an increase in COVID-19 testing in the past two weeks, the best way to combat COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated.
It is now time to join the Get Vista Vaccinated movement! During the week of September 13-17, Vista Unified will be bringing vaccinations to its high schools, where eligible students with parental permission can roll up their sleeves to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. A pop-up vaccination clinic will be mobilized to each of the five high schools. Each high school will provide registration information this week. Only students with parent/guardian permission will be allowed to participate.
As we answer the call of providing vaccination opportunities to our eligible students, it is also important to acknowledge that many family members of our students can still do their part to Get Vista Vaccinated. Beginning Monday, September 20th, Vista Unified will host a vaccination clinic at the Vista Innovation Center to serve our Vista community. The vaccination clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. Additional information about this vaccination resource will be shared through your school’s weekly communication in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 Testing Success
In partnership with Inspire Diagnostics, Vista Unified has opened two COVID Testing Centers to support its students, families, and community. The clinic at the Vista Innovation Center has tested over 1000 individuals since it opened on August 23rd. A second testing center at the Vista Adult Transition Center began COVID-19 testing on September 1st. This week, the testing site at the Vista Innovation Center will stay open longer on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide working families a greater opportunity for COVID-19 testing.
“We are all in this together” has been our district’s motto for the past 18 months. In that spirit, our school nurses would like to remind families that the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools is to recognize the symptoms, isolate from others, and get tested. All schools in San Diego County follow the COVID-19 K-12 Decision Tree when determining quarantine procedures for students who test positive or are identified as a close contact. The following document highlights important steps to follow in the event a student or someone in the household is potentially infected. The COVID-19 cheat sheet walks through some if/then scenarios designed to help you understand the Decision Tree and quarantine requirements.
Measure LL Facility Bond Community Forums
The Measure LL Facility Bond program is really picking up speed with eight projects completed and another eight projects in process. The bond program started in 2018, which means that we are three years into the phase one projects. The bond program is really making a difference for our students and staff. Every three years we would like to schedule a series of community forums to engage the public in a review of the progress made so far, highlight the work in progress, discuss challenges we have encountered, and gather feedback from the community on our project prioritization. We want to hear from you about how we can continue to strive to achieve the outcomes outlined in the Measure LL Facility Bond language. We are offering one virtual and two in-person forums. We are excited to have you join one or more of these important community feedback events. We are also creating a community feedback survey for those who are not able to attend one of the forums. Please see the details below.
Measure LL Community Forums
Virtual Forum on September 21, 2021 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting Link: Click Here
In-Person Forum on October 20, 2021 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Breeze Hill Elementary School, 1111 Melrose Way, Vista, CA 92081 in the MPR
In-Person Forum on October 27, 2021 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Vista Innovation Center School, 836 Olive Ave., Vista, CA 92083 in the MPR
Community Survey Window opens October 1st and closes on the 22nd. Survey link will be posted on the website.
Summer Learning Success
Our elementary “Super Science Summer School” launched on June 21st and continued through July 9th for students from all elementary schools in the district. 500 students from first to fifth grades attended the sessions hosted at five elementary sites across the district. Students were introduced to science themes according to grade level standards. Reading and writing activities were aligned to the science themes, helping students make connections to the real world, and students were given the opportunity for hands-on learning with science-aligned experiments. Students reviewed math skills and had a sneak peek into the skills needed for the next grade level. Fit4Kids provided outdoor organized sports games for students at each of the summer school sites. Additionally, three elementary schools offered their own programs for summer learning with more than 300 students attending programs focused on reading, math, and enrichment learning. Jumpstart programs for students entering kindergarten were provided in August across the district to give students a chance to meet their teachers and tour their classrooms and school sites.
Secondary school sites had an incredibly successful summer school with over 2,400 students attending at our middle and high schools. We had robust enrichment and bridge programs at each site, including targeted learning opportunities for at-risk students and enrichment opportunities, such as AVID, sports and athletics, visual and performing arts, lab sciences, career technical education, computer science, STEM, and mobile maker labs. Through the additional COVID-19 funding, our high schools were also able to offer credit remediation for the freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors to ensure that they were on track for graduation and prepared for the 2021-2022 school year. We are proud to report that 963 high school students took part in the remediation program at Alta, MGM, MVHS, RBVHS, and VHS and that, combined, they completed 6790 credits. This means that our students completed 1,358 semester courses during the summer months.Thanks to the hard work of our teachers and staff, a huge number of our students were able to catch up on credits for graduation.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District