April 15th, 2021
Dear FUSD Community,
I am hopeful this message finds you well and that spring break afforded you some time to enjoy the company of loved ones. As was noted in my last newsletter, FUSD is working hard to expand our learning hub offerings for students, and to create other on-campus social interactions. Our certificated and classified staff continue working hard to support distance learning for students, providing meals for students, and enhancing our facilities. Our site administrators have been hard at work planning for the expansion of learning hubs, and we are concurrently preparing for a full return to campus for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
Summer School/Extended School Year
As was shared during our March 24th Board of Education Meeting, FUSD will be offering a summer program focused on two areas: Credit Recovery for our high school students and Extended School Year (ESY) for Special Education students, as identified within their respective Individualized Education Plans. An overview of the programs, including the Math Academies, is included here (Summer School/ESY). FUSD is working to provide in-person instruction for our ESY programs. The Credit Recovery program is designed to be virtual as it allows students to move through the subject matter at a more individualized pace and allows the District to allow more students access to the needed classes for Credit Recovery. Last year, this program was helpful in aiding more students in recovering credits and ultimately reaching graduation. FUSD is also working on providing on-campus hubs for students who may desire to work on-site for Credit Recovery.
Starting the 2021-2022 School Year
As you may have heard, the Governor recently announced that he expects the State’s tiered color-coded (Blueprint for a Safer Economy) system to go away in the middle of June. Further, it has been shared at the state level that the expectation for school districts is a full return to in-person instruction to start next year. I was excited to hear these comments from the Governor and am happy to share with you that FUSD is planning to fully welcome students and staff back in the fall as well.
Although it can be very difficult to predict exactly what will happen at the state level, I anticipate that through the rest of this spring, we will continue to see more developments and guidance shifting back to full in-person instruction as the default condition for teaching and learning next school year. I also anticipate that the state will provide a requirement that some form of distance learning will also be made available for students. This was made even more evident by a publication released yesterday from the Governor’s Office and the California Department of Public Health, which outlines expectations for the 2021-2022 School Year (Click Here for Slides).
What does all that mean for FUSD and our students and staff?
FUSD is moving forward with plans for a return to full-time, in-person instruction for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, including pre-pandemic, in-person instructional minutes. Our current MOU’s with FUDTA for distance learning expires on June 10, 2021. The conditions for teaching and learning will then revert to the current FUSD/FUDTA full contract. This is the contract that was in place pre-pandemic and remains in place after June 10, 2021. Our MOU’s with our classified unions, CSEA and SEIU, will revert back to their respective full contracts as we start the year as well.
In addition to planning for a full return to in-person instruction, FUSD is also expanding virtual learning academics for both elementary and secondary students who may need such an option for next year. The distinction, however, is that these programs will be separate from our in-person schooling at our comprehensive school sites and will stand alone as virtual learning academies.
To ensure the safety of our staff, students, and community, FUSD will implement COVID-19 mitigation measures as outlined by both state and local health departments. While that guidance may change over the coming months, I anticipate that key aspects will remain, such as requirements for masks/face coverings for students and staff, 3-feet of physical distancing as currently recommended, improved air filtration, and symptom screening, along with the many other health and hygiene habits we’ve collectively implemented over the past year.
As was outlined in my prior newsletter, more information on our plans for a full return to in-person instruction, and our virtual learning academies, will be presented at our April 21, 2021, Board of Education meeting. The agenda and related materials will be published on April 16, 2021, and can be found here (Board Docs).
Expanded Learning Hubs
FUSD is working hard to expand our learning hubs to provide more opportunities for students to be on campus this spring. In addition, our school sites are also working on how they can create safe social experiences for our students as well.
Our next steps for expanding learning hubs will include bringing additional students back on campus starting April 26th. Our learning hubs will be expanding their hours to a full day and will operate a range of 3 to 4 days per week at both elementary and secondary schools. Students in hubs will be supported and supervised during the synchronous and asynchronous times. Students will be supervised, virtually, by the classroom teacher. Noon supervisors and Substitute Paraprofessionals will physically supervise the students in the learning hubs.
Safety protocols will be closely monitored and physical distancing will be maintained at the recommended distance by local and state health departments, which is currently at least 3-feet of physical distance between students.
In addition, to help address the social needs of students, social opportunities will be offered as determined by each school site. These events may vary in size and scope, but the primary focus will be to create safe structured opportunities for students to engage in direct in-person social interactions.
As we approach the end of this week and the beginning of next week, school sites will be reaching out to families who are identified by school staff for invitations to attend the learning hubs. School sites will continue to reach out to families to try and meet the needs of as many families and students as possible
In-Person Graduation for our Seniors
We continue to receive updated guidance from the state regarding in-person graduations and I am happy to confirm my prior message from March that FUSD is planning in-person graduation ceremonies for our Seniors. As these events get a bit closer, more information will be provided regarding details and specifics around safety measures and audience capacity. Our High School administration and maintenance staff are already hard at work making sure we can make this event as special as possible for our Seniors.
Updated Vaccination Information
Alameda County has moved to allow vaccine administration for all Alameda County residents ages 16 and above (Pfizer approved for 16+, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only approved for 18+). If you are interested in scheduling a vaccine for yourself or your student here are some of the options available to you:
I’ve received some questions recently about whether the COVID-19 vaccine would be required for students (those old enough to be eligible) to attend school. At this time, we’ve seen no indication that the state would require the vaccine for attendance, as they are still in the technical phase of “Emergency Use Authorization”. Should any requirements change on this front, we’ll update our community as soon as possible.
If you’d like to review what the current vaccine/immunization requirements are for students, you can find that information here (Immunization Requirements)
Fremont Education Foundation
I am grateful for the many individuals and organizations from our community who have offered their assistance throughout the pandemic. This tremendous support has ensured that learning has continued for our students under distance learning and that our staff has the resources needed to perform their duties under challenging circumstances. I especially thank everyone at the Fremont Education Foundation who from my first day with the District have been an invaluable partner in raising funds and providing technology and equipment. The FEF’s great work continues today. You can find out more on the FEF website.