Superintendent's Newsletter

April 26th, 2021

Dear FUSD Community,

It seems hard to believe that May is just around the corner! With only 32 days of school left before our summer break, we have many things happening throughout FUSD. Additionally, we are looking out at the horizon toward August and the start of the 2021-2022 school year.


Summer School and Extended School Year

I am very excited to share that on Friday, April 23, FUSD and FUDTA reached a Tentative Agreement for Summer School and Extended School Year. The parties worked collaboratively through a cooperative dialogue to find common ground for our Special Education Extended School Year Programs to be in person, for our Math Academies (Elementary and Middle School/Junior High) to be a hybrid of in-person and virtual, and for our high school credit recovery to operate in a virtual format, with Hubs available for students.


It is important to note that the credit recovery program for secondary is a virtual program based on the program design. The program, Apex, is designed to operate in a virtual environment, and many districts have used the program in such a format even prior to the pandemic. Last year for FUSD, we found more students able to successfully regain their credits and it was a critical aspect of getting more high schoolers eligible for graduation. This program also allows more students to have access to classes that may not have otherwise been able to be offered for credit recovery due to lower enrollment.


Returning in 2021-2022

During our Board of Education meeting on April 21, our Board of Education voted unanimously to return to five days a week, full days of instruction, with the appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures aligned with local and state health department guidance. In addition, the Board of Education also approved the development of an elementary school virtual learning academy along with the expansion of our existing Vista program to meet the needs of virtual learning for secondary students.


As we continue to move toward summer and the eventual start of our 2021-22 school year, it is exciting to have our default mode of teaching and learning be in-person, full time, five days a week. In the coming weeks you’ll receive an additional survey seeking your preliminary thoughts and feedback on the 2021-2022 school year.


In addition to approving a full return in the fall, the Board of Education provided direction to staff to continue moving forward with planning in-person graduations for high school students and ensuring all end of the year graduation and promotion ceremonies are aligned with local and state guidelines. Although capacity will be very limited, we are very excited to provide these in-person experiences for students!


Expanded Learning Hubs

For the next six weeks, we’ll continue working to support students across the district with our Learning Hubs which will move to full day programs and operate 3-4 days per week. The Hubs are not a direct replacement for in-person classroom instruction. However, students in hubs will be supervised throughout the day and will have the chance to be on campus and have social interactions with others, while they participate in their respective distance learning programs.


As has been the case for numerous topics related to a return to campus, we recognize that both students and families have different needs and viewpoints on participating in Hubs. We appreciate the dynamic nature of this work and understand that some students/families may want to attend a Learning Hub right away while others may not be interested. Our school sites have done a great job to put additional resources and staff in place to allow for our current expansion. In order to try and meet the needs of as many students as possible, we will continue trying to further expand our Hubs in the coming weeks, in addition to increased program and space availability already established.


Expanded Learning Hubs opened this morning. School principals will reach out directly to families who qualify for Hubs based on the following criteria: students who need access to stable wi-fi, students who need access to a safe on-campus location to complete their asynchronous and synchronous learning time, students who need to work in a stable, on-campus setting. Please contact your school principal if you have any questions or a need for your student to attend.


Expanded Learning Opportunity Survey

Last week, you received a survey from our District Office staff seeking your feedback on how FUSD can best utilize the Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant dollars provided under Assembly Bill 86. Thank you to all those who’ve already completed the survey regarding the use of these one time funds. We’ve had nearly 2000 responses in the first 48 hours and it takes just about five minutes to complete.


If you can, please take a few minutes and add your voice to the conversation about how FUSD can support students with these funds that are provide to:


  • Extending instructional learning time

  • Implement and expand learning supports for students

  • Integrated pupil supports to address other barriers to learning, such as the provision of health, counseling, or mental health services, access to school meal programs, before and after school programs, or programs to address pupil trauma and social-emotional learning, or referrals for support for family or pupil needs.

  • Community Learning Hubs that provide pupils with access to technology, high-speed internet, and other academic supports.

  • Supports for credit deficient students to complete graduation.

  • Additional academic services for pupils, such as diagnostic, progress monitoring, and benchmark assessments of pupil learning.

  • Training for school staff on strategies, including trauma-informed practices, to engage pupils and families in addressing pupils’ social-emotional health needs and academic needs.


The District's plan will be shared in May with the Board of Education for its review, input and approval. The funds are to be used throughout the 2021/22 school year through summer 2022. This survey will close on April 28, 2021. Please use the links below to access the survey.


Sports Season 1 Complete

In this unprecedented year we’ve just completed our first of two sports seasons. While it was not a traditional season, it did provide our student athletes with a chance for competition and development. I was able to attend a number of events in-person and want to extend my thanks and appreciation to our coaches, student-athletes, athletic directors, and most especially our athletic trainers who worked so hard to keep our students safe and healthy through this pandemic. Their efforts were paramount in providing this opportunity for students.


Vaccines

Alameda County has moved to allow vaccine administration for all 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.


Thank you for your continued support


CJ Cammack

Superintendent

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