Important Updates from EUSD

January 14, 2022

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Updates in this communication include:


  • Thank you for safe return to school!
  • Staffing
  • New Procedures for Reporting and Communicating Positive COVID-19 Cases
  • Testing at Farm Lab
  • Updated Decision Tree
  • Student Work During Absences

Dear EUSD Families and Staff,


I am so incredibly grateful to all of you for your continued support and how EUSD responded during this first week back. Our community rallied to test before returning in an effort to reduce possible transmission, illness and quarantines. Before school and Monday testing combined resulted in approximately 140 positive tests. Each of those represents an individual that did not return to school or work because of their test results. We distributed over 6000 at-home test kits before break and know they were put to good use by staff and families as we received 4700 results recorded between Friday and Sunday! Thank you! Your efforts made for a safer return during a turbulent time!


Kudos to our nurses, health technicians and testing team! They responded to a vast amount of tests, questions, inquiries and changes to guidance even before returning from break. Our testing team administered 257 tests on Monday at Farm Lab.


We do appreciate how carefully our families have followed guidance including keeping students home that are ill or who have been exposed to COVID-19 at home or in the community. We had 715 absences on Monday and 629 on Tuesday. To put this into context, this is approximately double what we might typically have. We know families are being cautious in a multitude of ways to keep our schools, children and staff as safe as possible.


Staffing

Schools are no different than most industries right now as we experience staffing shortages and concerns. As our employees face illnesses, exposures, and family responsibilities related to COVID-19 they are remaining safely away from school. We are fortunate to have outstanding substitutes that are supporting classrooms. Additionally, we are utilizing credentialed employees in a variety of ways to fill absences and keep teaching and learning in classrooms intact. Some schools are experiencing some disruption to intervention and enrichment programs as we work to fill vacancies. We know this is temporary and aim to restore all programs as soon as possible.


New Procedures for Reporting and Communicating Positive COVID-19 Cases

We are always reflecting and considering more effective ways to handle procedures related to COVID-19. At this time, we know we can better support families and staff by creating a more streamlined and centralized approach to COVID-19 notifications.


Please note the following changes:

  • All notifications of an individual that tests positive (employee or student) must be made via our COVID-19 Reporting Form. This form can be found on the front page of the EUSD website. As soon as an employee or student has tested positive, please complete this form. This will allow us to collect important information for contact tracing and to create the return to school plan/process. There is a separate one for students and staff. Please do not email individual school staff members, rather use the form to ensure we can take appropriate actions in a timely manner. Please look for the "Report Positive COVID-19 STUDENT" and "Report Positive COVID-19 STAFF" buttons on our district website. See buttons below as well.
  • A District Nurse will be collecting this information and providing necessary information to the school site for testing, quarantine protocols and required communications.
  • Close contacts or classrooms with an exposure will no longer be notified via a robocall, rather a text message will be sent. Follow up information will also be sent via email.This will be one email not an email and letter. Necessary links for follow up information will be included.
  • Notifications will be made within one business day.
  • Schoolwide letters will not be sent except for employees as required by Cal/OSHA, but cases will be updated on the dashboard each morning. The EUSD COVID-19 Dashboard is updated each school day and reflects active cases at the school site.
  • When there is an exposure in the class, the default will automatically be to test all students according to modified quarantine guidance. This includes vaccinated students and those that may have been absent during the positive person’s infectious period.


Testing At Farm Lab

Testing at Farm Lab is for students or staff that have been referred to testing due to being a close contact, having symptoms or the need for testing to return to school after testing positive. Please note the following for the type of testing required:

  • PCR testing is required for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to return to school. If the individual is sick, but wants to return to school and they have not had a positive test, a PCR test is required.

  • Antigen testing can be used if someone is exposed or to determine a potential positive test immediately. If someone tests positive on an antigen test, they are considered positive. However, if they test negative and have any symptom(s) of COVID-19, a negative confirmatory PCR test is still required to return to school or work. If a confirmatory PCR test is not done within 48 hours of the initial negative antigen test, then the individual will continue to isolate and a second antigen test 5 days later will suffice for return to school or work.

  • Antigen testing can be done on Day 5 after someone has tested positive in order for the individual to return to work or school on Day 6. You may also do a home test for this purpose if you have one available, but you will need to send a photo of the result with the student /employee name and date included. These should be sent to your health technician.

  • Farm Lab is open daily 1:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. for PCR testing for student/staff and until 3:30 p.m. for Antigen tests.

  • Antigen testing results are available in 15 minutes. Due to high volume in labs, PCR testing results are taking approximately up to 5 days.


Updated Decision Tree (1/12/22)

Please find the updated Decision Tree with this link. Here is a link to the e-decision tree. You may also review the Decision Tree FAQ’s here.


Student Work During Absences

We know attendance is a challenge currently for families and teachers are receiving many requests for make-up or at home work to be done. Please know that our teachers are working diligently to focus on in person instruction, quarantines and safety protocols and not all requests can be met at this time. They will support students in catching up upon their return. Our Educational Services Team will be posting an at home link for parents with absent students to use if necessary.


Thank you for working alongside us to manage this current situation. The changes noted above will serve us long term as we continue to live with ebbs and flows of COVID-19. We will continue to keep our schools open and safe for all.


Warmly,


Andrée Grey, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Encinitas Union School District