Febuary 2022 Edition
Dear Union School District Families,
It is hard to believe that we have already passed the 100th day of school this year. The 100th day is always a great day to celebrate with a lot of activities for our younger students. As we move into the last week prior to the February break, I’d like to provide you with a few health updates and highlight the wonderful activities happening across USD. Please take the time to watch the video as you will hear about the Great Kindness Challenge and Global School Play Day, which have been amazing opportunities for students to make meaningful connections.
No Change for Schools Yet with Masking
Indoor mask wearing will continue in Santa Clara County. This week, Governor Newsom announced that he will let a statewide indoor mask mandate expire next week for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and that local governments can continue their own indoor masking requirements based on local conditions. However, that announcement did not change the rules of the schools.
On Feb. 9, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced that it “will not lift local indoor masking requirements when the State lifts its indoor masking requirement on February 16. Instead, Santa Clara County will continue to base decisions on whether and when to lift indoor masking requirements on the risks posed by COVID-19, using clearly defined metrics related to vaccination, hospitalizations, and COVID-19 case rates.” Read the full press release here.
As such, Masking indoors for everyone is still a requirement at the CDPH level for all California schools. Wearing masks outdoors is highly recommended, but optional on school campuses.
We are anticipating additional guidance from CDPH as it relates to K12 schools specifically, and we will continue to keep our community apprised of newly released information.
February Break Testing (Students and Staff Only)
It is not required to test prior to returning to school on Monday, February 28th. However, we do encourage families to test over the break prior to returning to school, but it is not required. As always, it is important to take part in regular testing for students and staff. In an effort to support our students over the break, we will provide an additional opportunity for optional testing on Friday, February 25th for USD students and staff.
The optional COVID testing will be open for Union School District students and staff only on Friday, February 25th at Noddin Elementary School in the multi-purpose room from 9 AM to 3 PM.
If that option doesn’t work for you there are also the community testing hubs at Dartmouth or UMS. Please see times listed below.
Grapefruit weekly testing will continue in schools the week of February 28th as we have offered throughout this school year. If you would like to register your child you can do so by filling out a Grapefruit Testing Consent Form.
COVID contact letters will resume on Monday, February 14. We will use the CDPH Group-Tracing Protocol. Key points include:
Contact letters are NOT the same as contact tracing.
Letters are generated for indoor exposures to confirmed positive cases.
Recipients of contact letters are encouraged to test for coronavirus.
Cases are often not confirmed immediately, so the letters may lag exposures
As always when the CDPH updates any of their guidance for K-12 schools, we will let you know of those changes.
Thank you again for your ongoing support and partnership. It is a pleasure to serve in USD and support our students, staff and families. Have a wonderful February break and I hope you have time to enjoy the great outdoors as the weather certainly has been spectacular.
Free at Home Antigen Tests through Santa Clara County Library
Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) will be distributing free Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests at different locations this week. Two free boxes of tests (four tests total) will be distributed per vehicle at each drive-through site. N95 masks will also be distributed. No appointments are necessary and tests are available on a first come, first served basis only at the drive-through locations. Distribution sites are designed for vehicles, but individuals walking or bicycling will be able to receive tests (two boxes per household). Learn more.
Grapefruit Testing Open Daily at Dartmouth and Union Middle
Rapid and PCR Testing - The outdoor mobile testing facility at Dartmouth and Union Middle School are open 7 days a week.
The clinics now accept online booking for same day or next day testing, walk-ins is also accepted daily. Use the links below to check and book if appointments are available.
Mondays through Fridays: 7:00 am–7:00 pm
Saturdays: 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Sundays: 9:00 am–3:00 pm
Walk-up PCR COVID Testing at CUHSD
CUHSD hosts a self-swab walk-up kiosk in the parking lot of the CUHSD District Office. All community members, parents, and neighbors are welcome. No insurance required. Appointments are preferred for these PCR tests but walk-ins are also accepted. Visit cur.tv/campbell
USD Staff Spotlight
Lina Akiki - Health Clerk at Lietz Elementary
Lina Akiki can often be found assisting students in the Health Office at Lietz Elementary, administering medication and first aid, and supporting the school and families with all things related to student health. Particularly now, USD Health Clerks play a vital role in COVID related testing and safety protocols.
Lina has been a part of the Lietz team for five years, originally as an Instructional Aide. Lina shared that “my role helps keep everyone safe as we navigate this pandemic. I love the students and staff here. We are like a family!”
Sarah Growitz - TK Teacher at Oster Elementary
Sarah Growitz, a first-year Transitional Kindergarten teacher at Oster Elementary, actually started in Union School District as a student. Having attended USD elementary and middle schools, Sarah said she has “come full circle, teaching in the district I went to and able to give back to my community.”
“This age is so fun–seeing that click when they learn and get excited about something, it makes it fun to introduce new things.”
Important Dates to Remember
February 21-25, 2022 - Presidents’ Week Break (No School)
March 3-11, 2022 - Elementary Conferences (Early Release TK-5th)
March 14, 2022 (6pm) - School Board Meeting
April 4-8, 2022 - Spring Break (No School)
The 2022-23 School Year calendar is available on our District website.
Elementary Spring Conferences
It is hard to believe that elementary school spring parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner starting on Thursday, March 3 through Friday, March 11. Parent-teacher conferences present a wonderful opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher to specifically discuss your child’s progress and areas of growth this school year. As always, we encourage continual ongoing communication, and spring conferences present an additional opportunity.
In preparation for spring conferences, your child’s teacher will be sending out a sign-up schedule with available dates and times for those families who wish to participate in the spring parent-teacher conferences. As always, it is optional for families who feel they have enough information as it relates to their child’s progress and areas of growth. Further progress will be communicated in your child’s report card that will be sent home by March 11th. We appreciate our continued partnership with our students and families.
Highlights from Across USD
5th grade students in Ms. Tabayoyon’s class wrote to their pen pals in Kentucky this week. Students make meaningful connections with peers their age across the country, learning about many things that are the same or different from students in another state.
Union Middle School participated in February 2nd's Global Play Day; Students enjoyed a break from their academics to just enjoy a game of Uno, Oregon Trail, and other fun, engaging activities.
Alta Vista Elementary
Along with schools from around the globe, Alta Vista enthusiastically took part in this year’s Great Kindness Challenge. Students spread kindness across our campus and throughout the community. Posters thanking the custodians, kindness chains, and notes of gratitude all demonstrated our Cougars’ kindness.
Students in 5th grade created designs to represent their table group teams using Canva design. First, every one designed, and teams then voted on which final design they wanted to represent their team. Next, Mr. Sinclair used the laser cutter to laser in the design and cut the rounded shape out of a block of wood. This was the first step in using these design tools for future projects.
Lietz Kindergarten was visited by some amazing creatures from Happy Hollow. The Youth Science Institute visited Lietz 2nd graders and brought some creatures with scales. 4th grade was able to visit the exploratorium, and 5th graders were able to go to Walden West for science camp. There is so much to learn from engaging with the experts and experiencing science in our community.
Guadalupe students read 3,231 books during the month of January as part of their annual “Bookfest” celebration. On the last night of Bookfest, students and their families were able to watch and listen online to teachers from across the school reading some of their favorite books.
Mrs. Monica Silva’s students gave a shout out to 49ers player Jaquiski ‘Quaski’ Tartt as his message to stand up for yourself in the face of negativity resonated with the class as they learned about cyberbullying. The class’ video has been viewed on twitter over 38,000 times spreading their inspiring messages of positivity and resilience. Go 49ers!
Enrollment is now open for the 2022-23 school year!
Help spread the word! Share with your friends and neighbors. USD is now accepting registrations for the 2022-2023 school year.
Does your student turn 5 between September 2nd, 2022 and February 2nd, 2023?
If so, they are eligible to start Transitional Kindergarten in August!
In Union School District, we are proud of our Transitional Kindergarten program which nurtures our youngest learners. Early learning is a vehicle which allows us to focus on children's needs and help them to become lifelong learners. With thematic based units of study emphasizing our youngest students enjoy hands-on learning as they learn the basics of literacy and math such as the sounds that each letter makes as they embark on their reading journey, to counting objects as they begin their foundations in numeracy.
As our teachers share, “TK is a place where a kid can be a kid.” Most importantly, this pivotal year of schooling allows students a time to practice how to interact with others as they delve into social emotional learning. Through play-based interactions and an introduction to the vocabulary of emotions, students learn both individualization and collaboration.
For the 2022-23 school year, age eligibility for Transitional Kindergarten has expanded to include all students who turn 5 between September 2nd, 2022 and February 2nd, 2023.
Depending on enrollment, we are looking to offer at least one Transitional Kindergarten class at each of our USD elementary schools. In addition, our TK program will move to an extended day schedule aligning with our Kindergarten program starting next year. We are very excited to expand our program to all schools and look forward to welcoming additional families to USD.
To learn more about TK, visit www.unionsd.org.
Silicon Valley Reads Career Fair
On Saturday, February 26, the SCCOE will be hosting the annual Silicon Valley Reads K-8 Career Fair with the theme of “The Power of Kindness” and featuring career guests who focus on kindness to others and our planet. We invite all youth and their families to join us to learn more about careers that show kindness to others and our planet!
The event takes place from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. All K-8 students and their families are invited to attend. Please register at http://tinyurl.com/Career-Fair.
Join the USD Team
USD has several opportunities to join our amazing team. If you or anyone you know might be interested in any of our open positions, feel free to share this information and apply at https://www.edjoin.org/usd
Food Services Assistants
Extended Care Activity Leaders
Yard Duties and more!
Also, if you are interested in substitute teaching or joining our substitute instructional assistant ranks, please reach out to Denise Haswell at email@example.com.
Board of Trustees Sheila Billings, Vickie Brown, Doug Evans, Jennifer Petroff, Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Superintendent Dr. Carrie Andrews