September 22, 2021
Positivity Rates are Declining Locally and Throughout the County
Our collective efforts to Get Vista Vaccinated are having a positive effect on health and safety at our schools. We have seen over one hundred students get vaccinated at our vaccination events over the past week alone. We have also had fantastic responses to our two COVID-19 testing centers, with literally hundreds of students, staff, and community members taking advantage of the free testing. Due to the increased demand for COVID tests, the Vista Innovation Center has extended its hours until 5:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The combined push to Get Vista Vaccinated and the continued testing is contributing to a three-week trend of declining positivity rates. We have also seen a dramatic drop off in student quarantines due to close contact or symptoms. Vista Unified dropped from 35 positive cases two weeks ago to just 17 cases last week.
As we continue our pledge to Get Vista Vaccinated, Vista Unified and Inspire Diagnostics recently opened a vaccination clinic at the Vista Innovation Center. Vaccines are available to our entire Vista community at no charge. The vaccination clinic will be open Monday-Friday through December 15, 2021.
Independent Study Contracts Needed To Continue Learning During to Quarantine
The Vista Unified School District is committed to providing ongoing opportunities for students to continue their education and earn attendance credit while on quarantine. Currently, the state only allows districts to provide these opportunities through independent study, and parents/guardians must agree for their students to voluntarily participate. We need your help to sign a short-term independent study contract so that our schools can get the funding they need to maintain services for all students.
Currently, students on quarantine are marked with excused absences, but once parents/guardians approve for their student to participate in independent study during quarantine, the student will begin to generate positive attendance. Students enrolled in this short term independent study during periods of quarantine will have access to classroom content through Canvas, the district learning management system. Students can complete classroom assignments to stay current with the classroom learning and earn attendance credit. Keep in mind that when a student is marked absent, the school loses funding for that student for as long as they are absent.
Dual Language Program Expanding
The start of the 2021-2022 school year brought great news for schools offering Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs. Grapevine is offering its 50/50 program in English and Spanish in grades transitional kindergarten through third grade, and more than 310 students are benefiting from learning in both languages. Alamosa Park Elementary is also offering a dual language immersion track with 90% in Spanish and 10% in English (90/10) in grades kindergarten and first grade, and an 80/20 in second grade. The total number of students in DLI at Alamosa is 77. The students are all eager and engaged. We even have a waiting list! Thanks to this interest, we have begun conversations with different Vista Unified schools to explore and expand the DLI program in the 2022-23 school year. We are very excited with the community's interest in dual immersion education.
High School Athletes Show Success
The Vista Unified School District is committed to providing high quality opportunities for students to connect to school through athletics. The beginning of the 2021-2022 school year provides a fresh opportunity for student athletes to participate on the field after a modified sports schedule last year due to COVID-19. All three of our comprehensive high schools are off and running this fall season with notable success, both team and individual.
The Longhorns have started off the fall season strong. The Rancho Buena Vista High School Football team has been lighting up the scoreboard with a 4-1 start. Additionally, at the Ranch, Girls Volleyball is off to a great start at 7-2, as are the Girls Tennis and Golf teams. Hook ‘Em Horns! At Mission Vista High School, fall sports are off to a great start. The MVHS Field Hockey team has seen some big wins over some Division 1 rivals and looks for another League Title. And, the MVHS Cross Country team, which has the highest number of athletes, has been grinding it out in the late summer heat. At Vista High School, the football program is off to a great start with record-breaking individual accomplishments and team victories over tough competition. In volleyball, the girls team won the Silver Division Championship at the Varsity Classic Invitational Tournament, and girls tennis has started play in their inaugural season on the new tennis facility on campus at Vista High School. The Continuation Schools Sports League is back in action for the 2021-2022 school year as well, supported by the 21st Century ASSETS program at Alta Vista and Major General Murray High Schools. Student athletes will be competing on the pitch and are fielding strong teams with many experienced soccer players who are looking forward to a successful season. We are very proud of our students and our athletic programs!
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District