March 8, 2022
State of the Community 2022
The Vista Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual State of the Community on February 28th. This event featured a brief report on the state of the community from the Mayor of Vista and the Superintendent of Vista, along with other community leaders. Click HERE to view the State of the District that Dr. Doyle presented.
Strategic Planning Community Event
On Friday, February 11th and Saturday, February 12th, the Guiding Coalition members met to begin prototyping ideas for the Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits.
These themes will be shared with the community in a variety of ways over the next few weeks for both feedback on the emerging ideas, and final additional input. These engagement opportunities will include a district-wide survey, an open house event, sessions at district meetings, and meetings with students at school sites. The results of these meetings will be shared with the Guiding Coalition at their final meeting in April, and incorporated into their next round of prototyping. To provide feedback, you can watch this video and take the surveys for each portrait, go to our website for more information, or attend our Open House event. The Open House event will be held at the English Language Center (ELC) on March 23, 2022 located at 111 W. California Ave from 12:00-6:00pm. This event is open to all staff, students, teachers, and community members. Parking is in the Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts parking lot. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
Addressing Anxiety Around Changes to Mask Guidance
Starting March 14th, the latest guidance around mask wearing on K-12 campuses will change from masks being required to strongly recommended. While this change in mask guidance may be welcome news for some students and families, others could be feeling uncomfortable or have concerns about removing masks indoors.
To help alleviate any fears students and families may have, it is important to note that numerous factors went into this decision, including growing vaccination rates throughout our county and state and the more recent downward trend of positive COVID-19 cases. Rest assured, our schools will continue a variety of safety protocols and procedures to keep our students and staff safe.
It is important to recognize that anxious students do not need to rush into removing their masks; they can make this change gradually, as they feel comfortable. In keeping with our district values, all students and staff will be expected to respect each other and honor the decision each person makes about wearing a mask. The following online resources may assist parents ease their child’s fears during this transition:
Coping with Anxiety as Mask Mandates Lift (Michigan Health)
How to Deal With Bullying Over Face Masks in School (Boston Children’s Hospital)
Reassuring Children (Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion)
As always, our amazing support staff of counselors, social workers, and family liaisons are available for students and families. It has been an unprecedented two years, and we recognize that change can be challenging. Thank you for your continued support. We are all in this together.
Districtwide Professional Development Dates Are Set - March 9th and April 20th
As a reminder, the School Board approved two non-student days in the coming weeks so that our staff may continue to develop their knowledge and skills in order to better serve our students. The two non-student professional development days are set for Wednesday, March 9th and Wednesday, April 20th. Staff will use these two professional development days to expand knowledge and expertise in building a districtwide performance-based assessment system at the secondary level. Elementary staff will focus their attention on a variety of topics that include reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts. All staff will spend the afternoon building trauma-informed practices to support students.
The Festival of the Arts is Almost Here - March 12, 2022
Mark your calendars to attend the 17th annual Festival of the Arts to be held in downtown Vista on Saturday, March 12th. We will have hundreds of students’ musical and dance performances and artwork displays to enjoy. Please support this important community event in Vista. The event starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.
Interquest Canine Controlled Substance Site Inspections for Secondary Schools
In an effort to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff, all Vista schools provide curriculum, events, and/or awareness programs to work with students on the importance of healthy choices. To further support the health and safety of students, VUSD has retained the services of Interquest Detection Canines, a company that provides scent-trained detection canines with the goal of eliminating the presence of contraband on campus. The canines will make periodic, unannounced visits to each VUSD middle and high school campus throughout the remainder of the 2021-22 school year. The canines are trained to detect illicit drugs, alcoholic beverages, gunpowder-based items including guns, and commonly abused medications. Items found will be processed in accordance with district policy. VUSD has partnered with Interquest Detection Canines in the past, and we are excited to welcome them back. Interquest Detection Canines is an invaluable service that helps educate our students while bringing an extra layer of safety to our schools. For more information, please visit their website at interquestk9.com/school-services.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District