Health & Safety Update
Union School District | October 29, 2021
Dear Union School District Families and Staff,
Thank you all for your continued collective efforts in support of the health and safety of our students, staff and entire community. As a community we have worked together to follow health safety protocols from the California Department of Public Health to slow down the transmission of COVID 19 and keep students in school. In USD we have successfully layered protocols to support this such as hosting no cost weekly testing on our campuses for students and staff, offering two local community testing locations and ensuring consistent communication at all the school sites with any updates.
As we move into November we are now ready to ease into adding more opportunities for campus events and how they will be held, providing families opportunities on campus to view student events outside and reviewing the processes for field trips and overnight field trip events. You will find more details below as to how we will continue to maintain our current safety measures following CDPH guidelines while adding more opportunities moving forward starting in November.
As you’ve seen in recent news, we are another step closer towards vaccine availability for children ages 5-11. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended that children be eligible to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. If the FDA authorizes the shots, the CDC will make additional recommendations on who should receive them, hopefully by the first week of November.
In addition, the Biden administration announced last week that it had already procured enough of the Pfizer child-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 28 million 5 to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with child-size needles.
USD has already coordinated with our local Safeway Pharmacy to provide a vaccination clinic for students and staff members. The Vaccination clinic will take place on Friday, November 12th between 1- 5PM. Details on how to sign up will be sent out once official guidance from the CDC is confirmed.
Thank you again as we work together to support all students, staff, families and the larger community. Have a wonderful weekend.
Vaccination Clinic - Community Resource - Friday, November 12th
As you may already know, federal agencies are expected to finalize approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 very soon. As a resource for our families, we are excited to partner with Safeway Pharmacies to provide COVID vaccines (Pfizer) for our employees and all of our students, including our 5-11 year olds once eligible.
Tentative Date: Friday, November 12, 2021
Time: 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Location: Dartmouth Middle School - Cafeteria
5575 Dartmouth Drive, San Jose, CA 95118
Details: Appointments will be through an online portal.
Note: The clinic dates for COVID-19 for 5-11 year old’s are tentative and subject to change based on CDC's final guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine for the 5-11 year old age group.
We will send final appointment information and scheduling links for the clinics once official guidance from the CDC is confirmed.
Community PODs - COVID Testing - Open Daily
The outdoor mobile testing facility at Dartmouth and Union Middle School are open 7 days a week.
Mondays through Fridays: 7:30 am–7:00 pm
Saturdays: 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Sundays: 8:00 am–3:00 pm
You can sign up onsite at the POD or online now if you haven't been to the community POD before.
On Campus Events
We are excited to begin a phased-in approach to more school-wide events on our school campuses. While school dances, large assemblies, and other school-based crowded events have the potential to cause spread of COVID-19, we will work within the California Department Public Health guidance.
For our large events, such as dances, band and choir concerts, our district will adhere to following guidelines:
Events will be conducted outdoors;
Masking shall be mandatory, except when during a band concert and the playing of musical instruments that cannot be done with a face covering;
Attendance for the event shall be taken to assist with potential contact tracing;
Distancing the audience seating as practicable;
At school dances, if food or drinks are to be served, serve them outdoors in a place away from other areas to clearly designate spaces where masks must be worn.
Adults on Campus
As we continue to monitor our health and safety guidance through the California Department of Public Health, we have been allowing opportunities for adults on campus to support essential programs. Schools have designated and approved essential volunteers to assist in classrooms on campus. We thank all of our parent/guardian volunteers who have donated hours of their time to support our schools.
As we move forward, beginning Monday, November 2nd, parents/guardians will have the option to walk their child to their classroom at our schools as long as masks are worn by all adults and students while on campus. Parents/guardians may walk their child to the classroom door, however parents/guardians must stay outside of the classroom and may be on campus for the first 10 minutes prior to the start of the school day. Non-staff adults will need to leave campus as soon as the bell rings. As always, adults may not enter campus during the school day without checking in with the front office first. Middle schools may provide more detailed information as to processes for adults on campus.
After school, parents may come onto campus after the school bell rings at dismissal time to pick up their student from their specific classroom. Please remain outside your child’s classroom door. Please note, masks must be worn at all times on campus.
Starting in November, USD will be allowing field trips in accordance with all applicable health and safety guidance. In order to participate in field trips and overnight events, students, staff and volunteers will need to adhere to all health and safety rules and regulations.
Students must wear masks, both indoors and outdoors at the destination as well as during transportation to and from events. Exemptions include when actively eating or drinking, when health factors would be jeopardized, or during rigorous exercise.
In addition, when transportation is via bus, students shall not sit directly behind the bus driver.
For overnight field trips, all participants shall be tested and receive negative results within 72 hours prior to the trip. Students and adults shall be assigned to rooms/cabins and these assignments shall remain stable. Students will not need to wear masks when in their room/cabin. For field trips where sports, instruments and singing are involved, guidance for these activities will need to be adhered to as well. Most importantly, participating students and staff shall adhere to the destination’s or Santa Clara County guidance, whichever is more strict.