SMUSD Families: New COVID-19 Updates

SMUSD Families: New COVID-19 Updates
Posted on 07/28/2022


UPDATES FOR UPCOMING 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR 


7.28.22
Endemic Plan:
During the June 28, 2022 Special Meeting of the Governing Board, the Board approved to adopt a San Marcos Unified Endemic Plan. Although not required, the SMUSD Endemic Plan is in alignment with the state’s SMARTER plan, and outlines how SMUSD will continue to implement mitigation strategies to manage COVID-19 for the 2022-23 school year. To view the full plan, please click here.

Masking: With respect to masking, as we have done throughout the pandemic, SMUSD will continue to follow CDPH guidance. At this time, masking for students and staff remains strongly recommended, but not required, for indoor spaces in the San Marcos Unified School District.



UPDATES FROM 2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR 


 

4.15.22
Dear SMUSD families, 

I wanted to share an update with you to keep you informed of the latest news regarding mandated student COVID-19 vaccines in public schools in California. 

Just announced yesterday, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has delayed implementing Governor Newsom’s executive order, announced in the fall of 2021, which would have mandated COVID-19 vaccines for students with exemptions (medical, religious and personal belief) which are currently required by law. Per yesterday’s announcement, the CDPH said in a statement that it would “not initiate the regulatory process for a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the 2022-2023 school year and as such, any vaccine requirements would not take effect until after full FDA approval and no sooner than July 1, 2023.”

Additionally, Senate Bill 871 – Public Health: Immunizations, introduced by Senator Pan would have added COVID-19 vaccinations to the list of required immunizations for school-aged children, without a personal belief exemption. Also announced yesterday, this bill has been pulled and will not move forward at this time. This news comes a couple of weeks after legislation seeking to impose a workplace vaccine mandate was also pulled back by its author.

 

While we realize this news may bring mixed emotions, I want to assure you that all of us at San Marcos Unified will continue to remain committed to offering safe, in-person TK-12 education. With COVID mitigation measures still in place, including SMUSD testing locations, vaccination events, and more, we are working hard to keep the well-being and top-quality education of our students the focus of all we do. 

Thank you for your continued support, we sincerely appreciate it. 

Sincerely, 


Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent



4.8.22

Dear SMUSD families, 

I wanted to share a brief COVID update with you to keep you informed of the latest changing guidance for students. As of this week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) no longer requires quarantine for students who may have been exposed to COVID but are asymptomatic. Instead they should continue to monitor for symptoms, test for COVID, and stay home if they develop symptoms or receive a positive test result.

Below you will find a brief summary of all the CDPH changes:

CDPH changes affect students only:

  • All quarantine options have been retired.
  • Students may remain in school unless they have symptoms or test positive.
  • SMUSD will continue using the group tracing approach (group notifications) for exposure in K-12 settings.
  • Students exposed outside of school may remain in school and should test on Day 3, 4, or 5.
  • No quarantine required for household exposure. Students may remain in school and should test immediately and again on Day 3, 4, or 5 after the COVID-positive household member ends their isolation. 
  • The close contact and quarantine guidance for school staff remains the same.

Update Decision Trees are available here:

-SDCOE COVID-19 K-12 Decision Trees (English)

-Árboles de Decisión Para COVID-19 Grados K-12 (Español)

For any questions regarding these changes, please contact your school health office. 

I also want to remind you that SMUSD still has COVID mitigation measures in place. These continued measures include: 

  • Air filtration systems
  • Deep cleaning and sanitization protocols
  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • N95 and KN95 masks available - The state has provided additional N95 & KN95 masks to those interested in receiving them for their student. You can find out more by contacting your student’s school. 
  • SMUSD COVID Testing locations - SMUSD continues to offer COVID-19 testing locations for students, staff and household members of students and staff. You can see the current testing schedule by clicking here. 
  • Vaccination Events - During the month of April, in collaboration with community partners, SMUSD is hosting three COVID-19 vaccination events. The next event will be taking place this Saturday, April 9th at San Marcos Elementary School. For details, please click here. 


Thank you for your flexibility and partnership as we continue to monitor and adjust to the updated guidance. We appreciate your support in these efforts.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent

3.10.2022
Dear SMUSD families, 

As we all know, these last two years have been trying times for us all. The perseverance of our families, students, and staff has been beyond admirable and I thank you for being such an amazing SMUSD family. 

As we shared last week, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have updated their mask guidance and beginning March 12th masking in school settings will be moved from required to strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status. Current masking guidelines are still in place through Friday, March 11, 2022.

We recognize there are mixed feelings around this change in masking guidance for school settings; while some might be excited, it can strike anxiety in others, and it is our goal as a school community to be respectful of the masking choices of each student and staff member.

Although we may hold different opinions, our expectation is that every one of our students, staff, and visitors are to be treated with respect, civility, and understanding. There is no place for harassment or bullying of anyone based on a person’s choice to wear or not wear a mask, but rather we should trust they are making the best choice for themselves and their family. I would encourage each of our families to have a conversation with your student about respecting differences in others, including the difference of opinion, and the role of kindness and respect despite these differences. 

COVID Mitigation Measures remain in place

For those who may have concerns about masking guidance changing, I want to assure you that we still have other COVID mitigation strategies in place. These include:

  • Air filtration systems


  • Deep cleaning and sanitization protocols


  • Handwashing stations in outdoor spaces

  • N95 and KN95 masks available - The state has provided additional N95 & KN95 masks to those interested in receiving them for their student. Each school site has received these masks and will be sharing more information on how to obtain these for your student soon.


  • SMUSD COVID Testing locations - SMUSD continues to offer COVID-19 testing locations, which will also be available during Spring Break. Please see a revised schedule by clicking here. 
  • Vaccination Events - SMUSD is proud to partner with local organizations to host regular COVID-19 vaccination events. The next event will be taking place on Saturday, March 16th at San Marcos Elementary School from 9am-3:30pm. For details and other vaccination events, please click here.

As we continue to move forward together, SMUSD remains committed to supporting our amazing students and ensuring they feel safe and valued. Thank you for your partnership in this effort.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent


2.28.2022
Dear SMUSD families, 

This morning Governor Newsom announced that with declining case rates and hospitalizations across the west, California, Oregon and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance. After 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California, Oregon and Washington will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools. This means, beginning March 12th masking in school settings will be moved from required to strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status. Current masking guidelines are still in place through Friday, March 11, 2022.

As we move into this new phase of the pandemic, we will remain focused on continuing the mitigation strategies we are all familiar with: monitoring symptoms, testing, high-quality ventilation systems, etc. With this, students and staff should continue to remain home when sick and should take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms and/or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19.

SMUSD will continue to follow the CDPH guidance, and beginning March 12th masking for individuals in school settings will be optional. We ask for your help to please speak with your students about the importance of continuing to wear masks indoors until this time so as not to disrupt their learning process. Our hardworking teachers, staff, and administrators need your continued support to keep the focus on teaching and learning in our schools. 

Thank you for the flexibility you’ve demonstrated over the past two years in supporting our students and school community. 

Sincerely, 


Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent


2.24.2022
Letter to Governor Newsom:

2.14.2022
Mask update:

On February 14, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that there will be no change to the state masking requirement in K-12 school settings. 

It was also announced that on February 28, 2022 the CDPH will reassess data and conditions for a future change to the statewide school masking requirement. This means, at this time masks must still be worn indoors for both students and staff until we receive updated guidance.

We understand that families and students may have strong emotions and varying opinions about COVID-19 safety measures. SMUSD is legally required to enforce this requirement at the state and county level.

As with all of the COVID-19 health guidance we have received throughout the pandemic, the San Marcos Unified School District will continue to review and follow public health recommendations and guidance to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

2.8.2022

Dear SMUSD families,

You may have heard that the state announced plans to lift the mask mandate for indoor public places for vaccinated individuals on Feb. 15 and may be wondering what that means for SMUSD.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance that takes effect Feb. 16 does not apply to K-12 schools. This means, at this time masks must still be worn indoors for both students and staff.

We understand that families and students may have strong emotions and varying opinions about COVID-19 safety measures, including wearing masks, and vaccine and testing requirements. SMUSD does not have control over the state’s indoor mask mandate, and are legally required to enforce this requirement at the state and county level.

However, we are also awaiting further guidance on any potential changes to mask guidance for schools. Should this guidance for K-12 settings change, we will keep you updated and communicate any changes as we are made aware. 

I also want to acknowledge that these last two years have felt like trying times for everyone; continuous COVID guidance changes, new mandates, and protocol updates, have seemed unending and tiring for us all. Because we believe that attending school in-person is the best place for students, we will continue to follow and communicate the changing guidance with you. 

Thank you for your continued support as we remain steadfast in our goal for this year, to keep our schools open, keep our students in class, and keep our students and staff safe. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Andy Johnsen
Superintendent

2.2.2022
Mask Distribution - No Recalled Masks
SMUSD is aware of concerns regarding the masks recently distributed at our schools, possibly being masks that are a part of a BYD N95 mask recall, however this is not accurate. Our staff was in contact with the mask manufacturer as well as checked the affected recalled lot numbers against the affected recalled serial numbers to confirm that the masks we received were not recalled. We have also received confirmation from the county that none of the N95 masks provided to the San Diego County Office of Education for distribution to local schools are impacted by this recall. 
1.26.2022
N95 Mask Distribution for Students in Grades 7-12

Dear Parents/Guardians of Students in Grades 7-12,  

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including the new Omicron variant, medical experts have recommended that students wear an N95 mask, a surgical mask with a nose wire, or a cloth face covering along with a surgical mask to protect against the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The state has supplied N95 masks for voluntary use for students in grades 7-12

To ensure that every student in grades 7-12 has access to the N95 masks currently in stock, each student will be allocated 3 masks. Information on an additional allotment from the state will be forthcoming. N95 masks will be distributed to students in grades 7-12 at each individual school site on Tuesday, February 1st

The state has provided N95 masks to be used on a voluntary basis and are not required

We understand N95 masks can become uncomfortable when worn for a long period of time. If your student chooses to use an N95 mask, please send an alternative mask with your student in case their N95 becomes too uncomfortable to wear. If you have questions about your student’s use of N95 masks, please contact your healthcare provider.

As a reminder, there are other ways you can help protect our school community: ensuring your child is vaccinated (and boosted if applicable); testing for COVID if they have been exposed or are presenting symptoms, and keeping them home if they are ill. Guidance and response around the pandemic continue to evolve, and we will continue to respond as proactively as possible to keep our schools open safely. We appreciate your support and understanding and will continue to keep you updated.  

logo

1.21.2022:

logo
Dear SMUSD families, 

As our second week back from Winter Break comes to a close, I wanted to share a few updates with you.

Decision Trees & Group Notification

SMUSD has been diligently following the changing guidance in the San Diego County Decision Tree to ensure we are up-to-date with the latest safety protocols and guidance. We also realize this is cause for frustration for both our staff and families as the sheer complexity and changing nature of these Decision Trees. 

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) also recently updated their guidance to recommend a Group-Tracing Approach to students exposed to COVID-19, which aligns with our classroom notification approach we shared in our last communication with you. 

This means that when students are exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in a school setting, SMUSD will notify parents in writing of the exposure; however, all students may remain in school unless they are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive, further details below.

This new CDPH approach aligns with our district belief that we have a dual obligation to keep students and staff safe while, at the same time, provide access to high quality, in-person learning experiences for all students.

Dashboard

We also want to ensure we are keeping you informed as transparently as possible with regard to COVID positive cases on our campuses and district offices. While our COVID Dashboard has been updated, due to the extraordinary increase in case rates countywide and continuing staffing shortages, there will be a delay in adding positive cases to this dashboard. The local public health department has been unable to confirm positive cases for the month of January 2022. The cases added for the month of January will be based on positive test results received from our COVID testing site partner, Inspire Diagnostics. 

Due to staffing shortages, we are working diligently to ensure this is as up-to-date as possible.

Staff Shortages 

SMUSD, as with every other school district in the county, state, and nation, is experiencing significant impacts on staffing as a result of the current Omicron surge. The first week back from break we experienced anywhere from 214-424 staff out districtwide. As a result, there may be interruptions in services in transportation, special education, nutrition, and instruction. Your student’s regular teacher may be out, or school operations may adjust to meet these challenges.  It is important to know that while students and parents may experience some interruptions, these will be temporary. We ask for your patience, grace, and flexibility as our entire SMUSD staff team continues to diligently work through the current challenges and look forward to a slowing of the current surge. We are encouraged to see preliminary data pointing to a slowing of the Omicron wave of infections, and will continue to monitor those trends in the coming weeks.

We’re Hiring!

To help with our staffing shortages, please consider applying for one of our open positions, including substitute teachers. Please click here for more information and to apply. 

Thank you for your willingness to help keep our schools open safely!

Distance Learning

We realize that many have been wondering why we simply don’t shift back to virtual or distance learning during this Omicron surge. The emergency legislation that was in effect last school year allowing school districts to conduct distance learning has sunset and is no longer in effect. School districts do not have this option in the 2021-22 school year.

How does my student get back to school?

For school-related exposures:

  • If your student receives a group tracing or classroom notification that someone in class tested positive, your student can remain in school and should test on Day 3 or Day 4 or Day 5. Results from home test kits are accepted for this scenario.  
  • Given the current limited availability to testing, the County of San Diego is allowing at-home antigen tests to be used to address the gap in testing availability. 
  • Should your student test positive, please let the school know immediately and keep your student home.

-Your student can test on Day 5 and return on Day 6 if the test is negative, no fever in 24 hours, and symptoms resolving. 

For home exposures: 

  • Because the return-to-school scenarios vary widely according to the Decision Tree for a home-related exposure, please consult with your school health office. 

School-related exposures have been deemed rare due to school mitigation strategies, including: 

Air filtration: Each SMUSD classroom has been equipped with a new air purifier with three levels of protection: Pre-filter, activated carbon, and HEPA filter to capture 99.7% of 0.3 micron particles. Air filtration systems are recommended as a highly-effective mitigation strategy for COVID-19.

Deep cleaning protocols: All school sites and district offices receive deep cleaning and sanitization, with additional custodians on staff this year to maintain standards. 

SMUSD Testing Sites: The district has established four dedicated COVID-19 testing locations to provide easy & convenient access to testing for students and staff. Link to flyer here.

                    

Masking: Per the California Department of Public Health guidelines, masks must be worn by students and staff indoors at all school and district office locations. Wearing a mask is stated by the CDC as one of the critical tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Mask Update

We received information from the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) that they have received 25% of the district’s N95 mask allocation from the state. SMUSD is currently arranging pick-up with the county. Staff and students (grades 7-12) are the intended recipients of this allocation.  According to the county, this first allocation is adult-sized masks and the child masks are forthcoming. More information regarding distribution will be provided in the near future.  

While these N95 masks will be made available to staff and students, wearing an N95 mask will not be mandatory. 

For further mask recommendations from the CDC, please click here. 

Vaccination events

Working with local community & health partners, we are hosting several upcoming vaccination events, including this Saturday, January 22, 2022 at La Mirada Academy from 9:00am-3:30pm. Walk-ins are welcome but making an appointment is highly-encouraged. For details, please click here. 

From all of us here at SMUSD, we thank you for your continued support and understanding. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent


1.18.2022:
Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. For details and to order, visit: www.covidtests.gov


1.12.2022 Update:

logo

Dear SMUSD families, 

As we are settling into our routines being back from Winter Break, I wanted to share a couple updates with you. 

Test Kits headed home

As a reminder, we have received our allotment of test kits and will begin distribution tomorrow, January 13, 2022. Each student will receive one test kit, which contains two tests. Please be on the lookout for these test kits that will be coming home with your student to be used at parent/guardian discretion as detailed below.

In an effort to maintain in-person learning, the use of at-home tests will be accepted until January 27, 2021.

You may use the test to your discretion as below:

  • As a screening tool if your child is experiencing any COVID-like symptoms:

-Please keep your student home until they are tested

-If results are positive please stay home and contact your school

-If results are negative please stay home and confirm with a PCR test. Please notify your student’s school of the PCR results.

  • If your student is isolating due to a positive test and symptoms are improving or resolved, they can use this test on day 5, and if negative, return on day 6.
  • If your student is quarantined as a close contact the test can be used as evidence of a negative test to return to school.

How to use the at-home test:

  • Detailed instructions on how to use the test are included in the test kit
  • For detailed video instructions on how to administer the at-home test, please view this video from iHealth, by clicking here. 
  • Take a photo of the result as evidence to provide to your school

Contact Tracing and Notification  

Keeping our schools open, and our students & staff safe, continues to be our goal for this year. With our safety protocols and mitigation efforts in place, we are working hard to keep our schools open safely. However with case rates increasing and our current staffing shortages, we simply cannot sustain the ability to conduct detailed contact tracing. 

We have been in consultation with the County of San Diego Health & Human Services, and are temporarily altering contact tracing efforts and will instead move to classroom notifications. This means a notification will be sent to students who shared a classroom with a student or staff member who tested positive, and they will be asked to monitor for symptoms. We understand that you may have questions about who may have tested positive; however, we are prohibited by law from sharing that information with you. Additionally, we also have our updated COVID Dashboard that has been revamped by school site so you can more easily see and monitor cases.

The district is continuing all efforts to ensure those who test positive for COVID are not on campus in our school community, through our on-site SMUSD testing sites and notification processes in place. 

Both the CDC and CDPH concur that in-person school benefits students, which is why we are doing everything possible to address the number of absences due to illnesses, isolation, and quarantine among our staff and students during this surge. 

Masking

Masking indoors will continue as a part of our safety protocols for both students and staff. More information regarding the proper types of masks can be found by visiting the CDC website by clicking here. A CDC Guide to Masks, including mask hygiene, can be found by clicking here.

Additionally, Gov. Newsom announced last week that the state will provide a supply of N95 masks for all K-12 students and staff members in the state. We have not received details yet about how many masks we will receive or when. We will share additional information with you as soon as we know more.


Virtual Meetings

Because we are working hard to keep our staff safe, we have added extra layers of mitigation. All staff meetings will now be held virtually rather than gathering in small groups or spaces.


Additionally, it has been the commitment of our Governing Board to continue to conduct meetings in person, despite many school boards in the county conducting virtual meetings.

However, due to the recent surge in cases, we will be moving the January 18, 2022 Governing Board meeting to a virtual meeting. We welcome your engagement and participation, please click here for details. Please note, the Agenda will be posted 72 hours prior to the next meeting.   


While this is not required by the health department, to keep all staff healthy and schools open, we consider these to be prudent measures at the present time. 


We thank you for working together with us to keep our students and staff in school safely. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent



1.10.2022 Update:
logo

Dear SMUSD Families, 

We are thrilled to welcome your students back today after Winter Break! 

In visiting several of our schools today, it has been inspiring to see our students and staff enjoying their return back to campus. This affirms our goal for this year—which has been to do everything possible to keep our schools open, keep our students in class, and keep our students and staff safe—is exactly what our students need.

If your student was tested over the break and you are still awaiting results, but they are not experiencing any symptoms and have not been exposed to COVID as a close contact, you do not need to wait to send your student to school. We are ready to welcome them back to class.

With this, we are pleased to share that we received a shipment of State-provided COVID test kits for students. Students will receive a test kit at school this Thursday, January 13, 2022 for at-home testing. If a student is absent from school, their parents/guardian will be able pick up a kit at the front office during business hours starting Thursday. Each kit contains two tests. 

Parents/Guardians may use the tests at their discretion as outlined below:

  • As a screening tool if your student is experiencing symptoms, or if you were unable to test prior to returning to school from Winter Break. COVID-19 testing is optional and is not required to return to school. 
  • If your student already has had a positive test, you may use one of the tests in the kit on or after Day 5 of isolation, as evidence of a negative result to return to school. In an effort to maintain in-person learning and address the lack of available testing appointments at local clinics, the at-home tests will be accepted as evidence of your student’s negative result. 
  • Any unused tests can be saved for if or when your student might experience symptoms or be identified as a close contact to a positive case. 

How to use the at-home test:


  • Detailed instructions for how to use the test are included in the test kit. 
  • For detailed video instructions on how to administer the at-home test, please view this video from iHealth, by clicking here. 

How to understand the results:


  • If the test is negative: If your student feels well and has no COVID-19 symptoms, they should return to school. 

  • If the test is positive:

Stay home from school and contact your doctor and your school right away. 

Please see the updated Decision Tree as the time needed for isolation may vary depending on if they have symptoms present.


  • If the test results are not clear: 

Retest at one of our SMUSD testing locations, which are reserved for students and staff, or another community testing site. 


Thank you for your patience and partnership in maintaining a safe & healthy school year for our students and staff.

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent



1.7.2022 Update:

logo

Dear SMUSD Families, 

Ahead of our return to school this Monday, January 10, 2022, we wanted to share a few additional updates with you. 

Return to School: Safe & In Person

At SMUSD we are committed to a safe, in-person return to school, and also acknowledge some concern regarding the increase in COVID cases both locally and across the nation. While our case rates have remained less than 1% through this school year thanks to the efforts of our staff, students and families, we are seeing an increase in positive cases at this time. As we return to school on Monday we will continue to follow our established safety protocols, and we thank you for your continued diligence in observing these measures.

Our commitment to in-person education is also supported by both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The CDC states that students benefit from in-person learning, and the CDPH recently noted that infections in students and school staff are not necessarily the result of exposure at school. COVID-19 transmission remains much more likely to occur among people living in the same household or participating in other non-school activities.   

 

Staffing Challenges

We are also seeing an uptick in positive cases amongst staff, and like nearly every sector, we are currently experiencing some staffing challenges. Upon our in-person return, we ask for your understanding and flexibility. While each school site is well prepared for Monday’s return, each day with the pandemic brings the possibility of potential staff shortages. Your student’s regular teacher may be out, or school operations may adjust to meet these challenges. Please know that our entire district team is working diligently to ensure that our staffing shortages minimally impact school sites and we are keeping safety at the forefront.

Delayed Testing Kits & Expanded Testing

Consistent with our messages from earlier this week, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) which is coordinating the delivery of rapid test kits to districts, has still not received their full shipment from the State and we continue to hold our place on the waitlist. As soon as we have additional information, we will be sure to share it with you. 

As you know, we are responding by expanding our SMUSD COVID Testing Schedule for staff & students and we recently expanded again to include testing hours this Saturday. Our goal is to best accommodate staff and students who may have been out of the area or unable to test earlier this week.

The SMUSD Testing Schedule for Saturday is as follows:

  • NEW - District Office: Saturday, Jan. 8th, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Should your student test positive, keep them home from school and contact your doctor and your school, and follow the guidance in the Decision Tree (details below). And of course, if your student’s test is negative and feels well and has no COVID-19 symptoms, we look forward to their return to campus on January 10, 2022.

 

Quarantine & Isolation Updates 

Today we have received updated guidance and a new Decision Tree from San Diego County that outlines updated quarantine and isolation changes that will take effect immediately. We realize the new Decision Tree offers a lot of information and detail. 

 

We have summarized a few of the key changes:

  • If your student is positive, they may continue to isolate for a full 10 days, and return on day 11
    OR
  • If your student is positive and has no symptoms, they may return on day 6 if 1) they test negative 2) bring their negative result to school staff 
  • If deemed a close contact, the changes may eliminate or shorten time off school for certain individuals.

 

See the full Decision Tree, by clicking here 

 

Vaccination Clinics

SMUSD has worked with our community partners to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and flu clinics to our community. We are offering several upcoming vaccination clinics at our school sites, please click here for the full schedule and details. 

 

Additionally, if you are qualified and interested in filling one of our open positions, including substitute teachers, please click here for more information and to apply.

Once again, we thank you for your patience and continued support throughout this school year. We look forward to seeing our students and staff this Monday, January 10, 2022!

 

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent

1.5.2022 Update:
logo
Dear SMUSD families,

As promised earlier this week, we have a brief update to share with you regarding the status of COVID test kits to be provided by the State. 

COVID-19 Test Kits

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), which is coordinating the delivery of the kits to districts, have informed us that they have received only half of the allotment of test kits from the State. Upon receiving the announcement kits were partially in stock, we immediately reached out to obtain the supply for our students. We have since discovered that SMUSD has not been included in this first distribution and have been placed on a wait list. The SDCOE does not have an estimated delivery date from the State on when they will receive the remainder of the test kits.

As soon as we receive further information regarding when we will receive the test kits, we will send a follow-up communication with details regarding the SMUSD test kit distribution plan.

I want to remind our families that COVID-19 testing is optional and is not required to return to school this coming Monday, January 10, 2022.

As previously shared, due to the delay of the test kits for students, we have proactively worked to expand our SMUSD testing schedule this week.

SMUSD Expanded Testing

While testing before returning to school is not required, we have worked to expand our SMUSD testing hours and locations this week as follows:

 

  • District Office: Monday-Friday, Jan. 3rd - Jan. 7th, from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • San Marcos High School: Wednesday, Jan. 5th, from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Mission Hills High School: Thursday, Jan. 6th, from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • La Mirada Academy: Friday, Jan. 7th, from 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The test results from our SMUSD testing locations are typically received within 24-48 hours. With allergies and colds also present in our communities, please keep your students home if they are exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms and have them tested as soon as possible. 

Should your student test positive, keep them home from school and contact your doctor and your school right away. And of course, if your student’s test is negative and feels well and has no COVID-19 symptoms, we look forward to their return to campus on January 10, 2022. 

At SMUSD we are committed to continuing in-person instruction and want to emphasize our safety protocols, along with the diligence of our staff and families, have been extremely effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19, resulting in our COVID positive case rates remaining less than 1% this school year. 

We sincerely thank you for your patience as we continue to work diligently to meet our goal for this year; to keep our schools open, keep our students in class, and keep our students and staff safe. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Andy Johnsen

Superintendent




1.3.2022 Update:

logo

Dear SMUSD families,

 

As we prepare to welcome students back to class next week, we have several important COVID-19 updates to share with our students and families. 

 

SMUSD Safety Protocols 

Thanks to the diligence of our staff and families, we are grateful that our COVID positive case rates have remained less than 1% this school year. 

 

We also acknowledge the growing concern over an increase in COVID cases both locally and across the nation, and realize some families may be wondering if there will be a return to distance learning. At SMUSD we are committed to continuing in-person instruction and are excited to welcome students back on January 10, 2022. Our safety protocols have been extremely effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 at our schools, and will remain in place as we welcome students and staff back to school.

 

In fact, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently shared that infections diagnosed in students and school staff have not been as a result of exposure at school, and COVID-19 transmission remains much more likely to occur among people living in the same household or participating in other non-school activities. 

 

Additionally, we can all help prevent one another from getting sick by following county, state, and national guidelines like regular handwashing, masking, testing, and getting vaccinated. 

 

COVID-19 Test Kits

To help provide the safest possible in-person return to school from Winter Break, the State will be providing free COVID-19 test kits for public school students. The COVID-19 test is optional and is not required to return to school next Monday.

 

The San Marcos Unified School District will be distributing the test kits to students, however we have been notified by the San Diego County Office of Education, which is coordinating the delivery of the kits to districts, that they do not have a confirmed delivery date at this time. While we have requested the kits for all SMUSD students, we are unsure when we will receive them and if they will provide us with our requested supply. As many of you can relate, we are disappointed we have not yet received our allocation from the State, but will continue to work to obtain further information. As soon as we know more, we will send a follow-up communication with details regarding SMUSD test kit distribution days and times. 

 

Because of the uncertainty regarding receiving the test kits for students, we have proactively worked to expand our SMUSD testing schedule this week.

 

SMUSD Expanded Testing

While testing before returning to school is not required, the CDPH recommends that families administer a test before sending your children back to school on Monday, January 10, 2022.  In response, we have worked to expand our SMUSD testing hours and locations this week as follows:

  • District Office: Monday-Friday, Jan. 3rd - Jan. 7th, from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  •  San Marcos High School: Wednesday, Jan. 5th, from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Mission Hills High School: Thursday, Jan. 6th, from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  •  La Mirada Academy: Friday, Jan. 7th, from 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

 

 

The test results from our SMUSD testing locations are typically received within 24-48 hours. With allergies and colds also present in our communities, please keep your students home if they are exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms and have them tested as soon as possible. Should your student test positive, keep them home from school and contact your doctor and your school right away. And of course, if your student’s test is negative and feels well and has no COVID-19 symptoms, we look forward to welcoming them back to our campus on January 10, 2022! 

 

Vaccination Clinics

SMUSD has worked with our community partners Universidad Popular and Neighborhood Healthcare to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and flus clinics to our community. 

We are offering several upcoming vaccination clinics at our school sites, please click here for the full schedule and details. 

 

CDC Quarantine Updates

There has been a lot of attention around changes to quarantine guidelines from the CDC recently. While they have announced the shortening of quarantines for asymptomatic individuals, this update does not apply to K-12 settings. As it stands, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) K-12 schools guidance, and county public health orders have not been updated to include the new timeframes on isolation and quarantine. The San Diego County Office of Education is working with the County of San Diego to obtain clarification on whether these timeframes can be applied to school employees, and/or K-12 students. We will share an update as soon as we have received an answer from state and county officials.

 

Masking

Masking indoors will continue as a part of our safety protocols for both students and staff. More information regarding the proper types of masks can be found by visiting the CDC website by clicking here. A CDC Guide to Masks, including mask hygiene, can be found by clicking here

 

Thank you for all your collaboration and diligence to help us keep our schools open, keep our students in class, and keep our students and staff safe. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Andy Johnsen


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.