July 26, 2022
Getting Ready for the New School Year
Keeping our schools open for in-person learning is Vista Unified’s top priority. Although COVID-19 might be here for another school year, we continue to implement new methods and tools to decrease its impact on the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. According to the CovidActNow website, San Diego County is seeing an uptick in variants BA.4 and BA.5, putting the community in the high risk level. At this level, the CDC recommends masking indoors due to the high level of transmission. Vista Unified will continue to follow the CDPH guidance and highly recommend mask wearing indoors; however, students and staff will still have a choice regarding mask wearing indoors.
One way to keep our schools safe during this time is through mitigating strategies proven to be effective. These include:
Vaccinations and boosters
Optimizing indoor air quality
Using face masks
Getting tested for COVID-19
Maintaining clean hands
Managing individuals with symptoms
Weekly COVID-19 Testing Opportunity for Students
As we prepare for the return of students to the classrooms, Vista Unified will continue to follow isolation, quarantine, and testing direction from the CDPH and the SDCOE COVID-19 Decision Tree for K-12 Schools. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must continue to isolate at home. Based on the current recommendations, students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask if recovering from or exposed to someone with COVID-19. As we did last year, Vista Unified will partner with Inspire Diagnostics to bring testing to our schools. Interested families may sign up their students for weekly COVID-19 testing at their school site by going to https://forms.vistausd.org/Forms/ParentPermissionTesting. Information on weekly testing will also be provided during the 2022-23 school registration process. Testing for participating students will begin the week of August 29th.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination - A Service for the Entire Vista Community
Vista Unified remains committed to bringing COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and boosters to the community of Vista. We are happy to announce that, starting August 15th, a community testing clinic will open at Vista High School. The VHS testing site will join RBV High School and Mission Vista High School. In addition, COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and boosters are available daily at the Vista Innovation Center, including Saturdays.
The Monkeypox Virus
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. While similar to smallpox, symptoms are milder and may include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash. Currently there is not a concern surrounding monkeypox in our schools as the case count in the US is less than 3000. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not released any guidance for schools at this time, our Health and Safety Department will continue to monitor trends and provide updates as necessary.
General Education Transportation Interruption
With a national and regional shortage of bus drivers, Vista Unified School District’s transportation Department currently has a high vacancy rate. As of July 2022, VUSD has only 64% of the bus drivers needed to provide our scheduled busing services for the 2022-2023 school year. At this time, VUSD is exploring all options for providing special education and general education transportation services; however, there may be a temporary pause in some transportation routes for general education students.
The Transportation Department is gathering information regarding all possible disruptions to general education busing services. Once fully compiled and verified, schools, students, and families that may be impacted by a disruption in service will be notified within the next two weeks. The purpose of this communication is to provide schools and families with early notice of a possible interruption to general education bus service.
Vista Unified School District remains strongly committed to providing full busing services for our students. A task force has been formed to look at all possible options to minimize disruptions and to explore options for schools and families. In the upcoming weeks, the district will present options to the Board of Trustees and notify all affected families of any changes to services, the restorations plans, and priority goals.
Re-registration for continuing students will open July 26th. Parents/guardians will log in to their Aeries Parent Portal account to verify or make any updates to contact information, emergency contact information, medical information, and other essential student information. One of the key parents/guardians will also verify receipt and understanding of key school and district information. For more information, please refer to the document: Continuing Student Re-Registration-Data Confirmation 2022-23. Beginning next week, August 1st, parents/guardians can request assistance with the registration process at their school sites. Please refer to any school-specific notifications about times and events for assistance or submission of required documents.
It is also important for each parent/guardian to complete an Alternative Income Verification form, following the instructions provided in the Superintendent's Notification of Alternative Income Verification memo. This provides critical information to provide our student meals and other support programs across the district.
Families with children who will be NEW to the district will first need to complete the pre-registration process, following the instructions provided on the Student Support Services New Student Enrollment webpage.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District