May 10, 2022
April STARS of Excellence and Innovation
Congratulations to our April STARS of Excellence and Innovation. We have successfully awarded 168 STARS since April 2021 and 96 STARS in the 2021-2022 school year. Our last round of STARS will be Wednesday, May 25th, and we look forward to bringing the STARS program back next school year. Thank you for the continued support to make this program a success. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @vusdstars for more updates, videos, and information.
6th Annual Early Childhood Education Fair
It was a true pleasure to see over 1600 members of the Vista Community participate in the Early Childhood Education Fair on Saturday. We had every preschool organization in Vista represented, with over 60 teachers and administrators facilitating activities and games for students and parents. Our school board members proudly kicked off the event with Congressman Mike Levin and representatives from Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath’s office. A huge thank you to every member of our Family and Community Engagement Team for hosting a fantastic community event.
Strategic Planning Installation was a Huge Success
Thank you for helping to make the Community Installation a success. During our Community Installation event, participants viewed and interacted with numerous artifacts that explained the Strategic Planning Process and all of the work that our school district took part in this year. Also on display were the final draft versions of the Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits that will be presented to the school board for approval in June. Student Guiding Coalition members were presented with awards to celebrate the dedication and leadership they showed during this process.
Feedback from the community has been central to our Strategic Planning work this year, and we want to thank everyone who attended and offered their final thoughts on the portraits. We look forward to updating you on our next steps in the Strategic Planning process soon.
School Start Time Follow Up Discussion and Action
The School Board of Trustees will be holding a Special Board meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 5:00pm for discussion/action on School Start Times. The meeting will be held in person in the district office board room and will be live streamed.
COVID Status Update
As a community and school district, we continue to follow national, state, and local trends so we can prepare our schools and support our staff and students. I applaud our team for working hard behind the scenes to keep our students and staff safe from the effects of COVID-19. Vista Unified remains committed to offering a quality and safe education to over 19,000 students.
Over the past two weeks, COVID-19 positive cases at our schools have also been on an uptick. Cases are appearing at many schools and across all grade levels. The first week of May has already brought over 60 positive cases. Our school leaders and district health professionals continue to follow all protocols designed to notify their school communities of any cases. The chart below shows COVID-19 positive cases reported within our schools by week since the start of school in August 2021. The end of the 2021-22 school year is within sight. Let’s remain diligent in our fight against COVID-19 and finish strong.
Current protocols being followed
Vista Unified remains committed to keeping our schools safe for all students and staff. When a cluster of positive cases appear at a school or in a classroom, special care is taken to ensure that the rooms are cleaned with extra care. Mitigating factors, such as lunch, passing periods, and playground routines are reviewed to see how the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed. Hand sanitizer continues to be available inside classrooms. Students and staff may be encouraged to wear a face mask, though masking is not a requirement. We continue to work with the local health department to examine our health and safety practices when cases arise in our schools.
Special events protocols
The end of the school year brings excitement on many levels but especially for our students moving from one school to the next. Depending on the event, students may be required to provide proof of vaccination status or the results of a negative COVID test. While the goal is to be as inclusive as possible during the end of the year activities, Vista Unified is dedicated to ensuring these special events are safe for all students. Congratulations to the Class of 2022!
Recommendations for parents
Parents are encouraged to monitor their students for any COVID-like symptoms. People with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Please add a quick health check to your morning routine, and avoid sending students to school if they have any of the following symptoms:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Safe Gun Storage Letter
Safety in schools can be multidimensional, and providing our students and staff with safe educational environments remains a top priority for our School Board. At the May 5, 2022 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees took a bold stand against violence and adopted a Resolution Supporting Safe Gun Storage.
Although a resolution does not guarantee an end to gun violence or eliminate unsafe storage of firearms, it is a bold, first step towards our district's commitment to awareness of this timely issue. The letter below provides information on current municipal and penal codes adopted to protect minors from negligent gun storage.
The newly adopted resolution also highlights the important partnerships Vista Unified has with law enforcement, medical and mental health agencies, and non-profit organizations. To that end, Vista Unified will be partnering with Moms Demand Action, a nonpartisan organization, to host a webinar designed to bring awareness about safe gun storage to our Vista Community.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District