April 26, 2022
New Start Time Impact of SB 328
California Senate Bill 328 requires all public and charter middle schools and high schools to make adjustments to bell schedules so that high schools begin no earlier than 8:30 am and middle schools begin no earlier than 8:00 am. There is no requirement for elementary schools. This bill was approved on October 13, 2019, and, even after years of litigation and advocacy, will go into effect on July 1, 2022. Because of this new legislation, Vista Unified high schools must adjust their bell schedules for the 2022-2023 school year.
These adjustments may affect the start times at middle and elementary schools due to traffic patterns, transportation, staffing, and other considerations.
We value the voices of our community as we address Senate Bill 328, which will impact bell schedules at Vista Unified schools. We invite all parents, teachers, staff, and students to join us for one of our virtual community forums and/or complete the community survey that is linked below. At the May 5th Board Meeting, the Board will consider your responses and feedback as they discuss, and ultimately vote on, adjustments to bell schedules in order to comply with the requirements of Senate Bill 328.
- Community Survey Link - English - This survey will be open through May 3rd.
Strategic Planning Community Installation
We are nearing the end of our strategic planning process. Community involvement has been fantastic so far. We have planned one final event, called the Community Installation, where members of the community will be able to see our collective work on display in draft form and provide their final thoughts before it goes to the School Board of Trustees for final discussion and approval. Please join us on May 7th at 10 a.m. in the VIDA gym.
Over the past year, the Strategic Planning Team and Guiding Coalition members came together multiple times to analyze data and VUSD’s current mission, vision, and values. We want to commend the Guiding Coalition members for their outstanding effort and commitment to creating a bright future.
Using feedback gathered from our community, the Guiding Coalition has now created the final draft versions of our Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits. At the Community Installation, you will be asked to share your feedback on the final drafts of the Graduate, Adult, and Systems Portraits, which will influence the future of our students, adults, and community for years to come. Please see our Community Installation flyer in English and Spanish, and we look forward to seeing you there.
Early Education Fair
Our 6th Annual Early Childhood Education Fair will be held on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at VIDA, and everyone is invited to attend. This is a wonderful community-wide event that will bring in 2,000 students, families, staff, and community partners. Students and parents will not only have the opportunity to learn more about our schools and the programs that we offer but also be connected to resources from our community partners.
Buses are available throughout the day from Foothill Oak and Casita. More information will be posted on the Family and Community Engagement Network website.
Please see the flyer for additional information.
Annual Notification of the Rights and Responsibilities of Parents or Guardians: Choosing a Language Acquisition Program (EL13)
Parents or guardians of students enrolled in a Vista Unified School District (VUSD) school may choose a language acquisition program that best suits their child (EC Section 310). “Language acquisition program” refers to educational programs designed for English learners to ensure English acquisition as rapidly and effectively as possible. Such programs shall include instruction on the state-adopted academic content standards, including the California (CA) English Language Development (ELD) standards.
Governor Delays COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements in Schools
Last week, the governor’s office announced that the state will further delay the implementation of the student COVID-19 vaccination requirement for school attendance. Additionally, on April 14th, Senate Bill 871 was placed on hold. Introduced by Senator Pan, SB 871 would add the COVID-19 vaccination to the list of mandated vaccines required for students. The State of California announced last October that full approval by the FDA was a precondition to initiating the rulemaking process, adding the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance. The FDA has not yet fully approved COVID-19 vaccines for children within the 7-12 grade span. This means that the soonest the new requirement could take effect is July 1, 2023, effectively pushing back implementation to the 2023-24 school year. As a result, there will be no COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students for the 2022-23 school year.
Resolution Supporting Safe Gun Storage
Student safety continues to be one of the highest priorities for Vista Unified. Together with the Board of Trustees, VUSD remains committed to bringing awareness to two potential areas of concern for our youth - violence due to firearms in the home and drug use, particularly fentanyl. Having a firearm in the home that is easily accessible to children increases firearm related injuries, deaths, and crimes, including teen suicide, creating significant local and national public health impacts.
Drug overdoses have taken the lives of children through easy access to synthetic substances, such as fentanyl, which can be ingested through the skin. Vista Unified understands that the responsibility for change is now and that partnering with parents will unite us in protecting our children. Vista Unified pledges to bring awareness about safe gun storage and the drug epidemic to our school community. To that end, our school board will begin the process of adopting resolutions addressing these issues.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
On April 30th, the communities of Vista, Oceanside, and Carlsbad can participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Sponsored by the Vista Community Clinic, the event collects unused prescription drugs and ensures safe disposal. This is one small but mighty step in protecting our children from misusing prescription medication.
Historically, Vista Unified has had great participation in the Strawberry Festival, with special attention for students and staff participating in the Strawberry Run.The Strawberry Festival is scheduled for May 29th. Students get a registration discount, and $3 from each registration goes to the schools. Hope to see you there to support our beautiful city.
SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass
SANDAG has teamed up with local and regional public transit systems (MTS, NCTD, and the County of San Diego) to connect youth to school, jobs, entertainment, and more. Starting May 1st, anyone 18-years-old and younger can ride transit for free in San Diego County through the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program. With a Youth PRONTO account, youth can get unlimited rides on the bus, trolley, COASTER, and SPRINTER through June 2023.
Please visit the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass website for more information.
Graduation and Promotion Preparations
Preparations are underway at all of our elementary, middle, and high schools for graduation and promotion ceremonies. The families of current kindergarteners, fifth graders, and eighth graders will be receiving information regarding dates and times of their promotions from each individual school site. At the high school level, seniors have already received graduation information, including senior contracts and information about caps and gowns. Families of our graduating seniors will receive ticket and ceremony information from their individual school sites. This time of the school year brings us a great sense of pride and appreciation for the accomplishments our students have made as scholars.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District