Superintendent's Newsletter

January 7, 2022

1/7/22 Superintendent's Newsletter | Mensaje del Superintendente | 總監的話

Hello FUSD Staff and Community,

Even as we look forward to welcoming students back to classrooms on Monday, we know that this return to school may cause some concern and anxiety. There is little about education left undisturbed by COVID-19, and as an educator and a parent of two school-aged children, I know how once minor decisions can now seem impossibly complicated. Please know that all of us at FUSD care deeply about the health and safety of our students, staff and community.


As part of our return to in-person instruction in August, we established health and safety protocols at the district and site level. These protocols, combined with personal responsibility from each individual, have helped to mitigate the impact of COVID in our schools throughout this school year.


The following health and safety provisions will remain in effect for FUSD as they remain aligned with ACPH/CDPH:

  • All students and staff must continue to complete the student COVID-19 screening or self-check for staff every day before entering campus

  • Face coverings remain mandatory at school facilities/campuses

  • PCR testing for students and staff is available weekly at each school site, and available at the District Office every school day

  • Air purification units in all classrooms and auxiliary rooms

  • Weekly testing for student athletes per ACPH/CDPH guidance

  • Contact tracing and case reporting via FUSD website


The Governor in conjunction with labor and administration leaders from across the state released this joint statement as we went to winter break, which further highlights the intent and commitment to keep in person instruction as the primary option for instruction.


"Across California, school communities – students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and board members together – have worked tirelessly to keep schools both safe and in-person. California schools have been open because of, not despite of, our priority on safety. As we approach the new year, we reaffirm our shared commitment to one another, to our parents and to our students: to keep each other safe and to keep our classrooms open.”


For those wondering why FUSD is not returning to distance learning at this time, below are some key considerations:

  • We are better prepared to limit transmission in our classrooms than when we transitioned to distance learning at the outset of the pandemic.

  • With vaccines, testing, and improved air filtration, we have better tools at our disposal.

  • FUSD, along with all other school districts in the state, does not have a mechanism to move all students to distance learning under current State regulations. Temporary, targeted closures, specific to any class or site level outbreaks connected to virus spread at school are possible in conjunction and consultation with Alameda County Public Health.

  • School remains a safe, structured, and critically important part of the academic and social development of students.

  • Through a layered approach and multiple strategies being implemented, we have demonstrated a strong ability to mitigate the impacts of COVID in our schools. These same methods and practices will be critical in responding to this new variant as we navigate the next month of the Omicron surge.


FUSD is committed to remaining aligned with the state and local guidance and in just the last few days we received updated guidance from CDPH and ACPH in connection to changes recommended by the CDC. The key new developments are specific to changes in the isolation guidance, and we expect that we may get newly updated quarantine guidance for students in the coming week(s). As those updates are received, we’ll update our staff, students, and community.


The new guidance provides the following changes:


ISOLATION (persons who test positive for COVID-19) Students - Regardless of Vaccination Status:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days.

  • Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving AND a diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative.

  • If unable to test, or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present or resolving isolation can end after day 10.

  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever is resolved.

  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving continue to isolate until symptoms are resolved or until day 10

  • Wear a well fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.


As noted above, we expect changes to the current student “quarantine” guidance for close contacts. Until that guidance is provided the existing protocols will remain in place, see the COVID-19 Flowchart and Modified & Shortened Quarantine Protocols for more information.


FUSD will remain responsive to new information, requirements and recommendations to keep our sites as safe as possible. If and when we change any of our protocols, notice will be provided to staff, students, and families.


Thanks to all our staff, families, and students who came to pick up a testing kit at one of our recent distribution events. As a reminder, those kits are optional, not mandatory, and were intended by the state to supplement existing testing programs in districts. We do ask that people use those kits to test before returning to campus and most importantly that all individuals still check for daily signs and symptoms of COVID. FUSD continues to offer PCR testing for students and staff each week at each school site in FUSD, and every school day at the District Office.


Click here for more information on a final distribution of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests on 1/8/22.


Upon any sign or symptom both vaccinated and unvaccinated students should not attend school and should contact their medical professional and/or seek a COVID-19 test.


FUSD schools and offices will reopen on Monday, January 10, 2022. If you traveled over the winter break, please review these recommendations from the California Department of Public Health.


As a reminder, all students and staff must continue to complete the student COVID-19 screening or self-check for staff every day before entering campus.


Thank you for your continued support as we share the responsibility of keeping students and staff safe.

Sincerely,


CJ Cammack

Superintendent