Touro Cares Mobile vaccination program hosts 100th vaccine clinic at VCUSD on Wednesday – Times-Herald

Vallejo City Unified School District is opening its school site to the Touro Cares Mobile Vaccination Program for its 100th Vaccine Clinic on Wednesday, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Cooper Elementary School.

“We are proud to share this will be its 100th clinic offered to the community,” William Spalding, superintendent of VCUSD, said in a news release. “We are so grateful to make this partnership possible with Touro University California Cares Mobile Vaccination Program, which is funded by Kaiser Permanente.”

Cooper Elementary School is at 612 Del Mar Ave., Vallejo, CA. 94589.

Source: Touro Cares Mobile vaccination program hosts 100th vaccine clinic at VCUSD on Wednesday – Times-Herald

School district COVID testing center adds Saturday hours, offers testing to public – Daily Republic

The Vacaville School District Testing Center has temporarily expanded its hours to serve students, staff and the community at-large.

The center, located at 621 S. Orchard Ave., across the street from Alamo Elementary, will be open by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The district testing center received additional temporary funding to address the current surge in Covid-19 cases, the school district reported in a letter to parents and guardians.

 

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Free Covid testing offered by Vacaville School District brings out hundreds – Daily Republic

VACAVILLE — The Covid-19 test strips were about the size of a small hand. On one end was the cotton swab that was inserted into the nasal cavity. The entire thing looks something like a large pregnancy test.

Mena Bubakar, Covid test collector for BayPLS, a mobile testing company for the Bay Area, places a solution over the end of the cotton swab to create a reaction to test for Covid. One line means negative and two lines means positive.

The test strips are marked by time and placed on a table. She inputs them after more than a few minutes of waiting. A lot of the tests Saturday have two lines, meaning people who came into the Vacaville School District Covid testing center have Covid-19.

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Vacaville coronavirus testing site opens with California funds – KCRA

By Erin Heft

Extra funding through the state allowed a Vacaville COVID-19 testing site to expand its reach this weekend and give priority to first responders.

Site organizers say this is huge for their community, especially with the newest surge of COVID-19 cases across Northern California.

“This community really is looking to get tested and there’s really not a lot of choices,” said Ed Santopadre, associate superintendent with Vacaville Unified School District.

The site at the Vacaville Unified School District opened with funding from the California Department of Public Health late last year. But through more state funding it was able to expand its reach by opening three weekends in 2022 with COVID-19 testing for anyone.

Source: Vacaville coronavirus testing site opens with California funds

Government launches site for free COVID-19 tests – KCRA 3

The federal government’s test website, COVIDtests.gov, is now live and began accepting orders Tuesday, one day ahead of schedule.

The Biden administration is using the website to distribute half a billion promised tests at no cost.

You can get four tests per household. They are expected to be mailed out seven to 12 days after your order.

There will also be a helpline to call and order tests.

Divided Vaca board debates letter to governor on Covid vaccine mandates – Daily Republic

3 trustees opt to send message under own names, not as formal board missive

VACAVILLE — The School Board this week during a special meeting mulled over the idea of sending a letter to the governor addressing concerns about the vaccine mandate proposed for implementation July 1.

Trustees split on the timing of the letter, with a board minority opting to send it anyway.

The letter being reviewed Thursday includes basic information on the Vacaville School District along with responses from a survey done of all families in the district about how they felt about the possible mandate.

Vallejo, Benicia School Officials Eye Rising COVID Numbers – News Motion

By Tony Campbell

As the surging Omicron variant raises the number of COVID-19 cases in Solano County, local parents are increasingly concerned about keeping their kids in the classroom.

The rapid growth has been on the mind of Vallejo and Benicia school districts as they wrestle with the question of halting in-person instruction.

“As has been the experience of school districts throughout the region and across the state of California, the Vallejo City Unified School District has seen a steady uptick of positive COVID-19 cases among its staff and students,” district spokesperson Stephen Nichols said in an email to the Times-Herald on Thursday afternoon. “In alliance with the state and county public health agencies, the district continues to provide multiple and robust safeguards within its schools, offices, and classrooms to prevent the spread of the virus. At this time, absentee rates in the district average 20-25 percent overall, but it should be noted this includes all categories — not just COVID case absences, which is a fraction of the total absences.”

Solano County schools see record number of positive Covid tests – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

The caseload from the current coronavirus surge is so high that the county has cut back on its contact tracing efforts and has told inundated schools they, too, can stop tracing.

A letter sent Monday to Travis School District parents states “. . . Dr. Bala Matyas gave direction to all school districts in Solano County to temporarily cease contact tracing. Dr. Matyas acknowledged that resources and staff required to effectively manage contact tracing with the latest Covid surge has become unmanageable and is no longer sustainable.”

Dixon School District, for example, reported a pandemic-high number of positive tests, 128, among students last week, with 18 members of the staff also testing positive for the virus.

White House boosts COVID tests for schools amid case surge – The Vacaville Reporter

By John Woolfolk

With schools across the country straining to stay open amid a crush of COVID-19 cases, the White House announced Wednesday it will provide for an additional 10 million tests a month for the virus to help students, teachers and staff avoid spreading the highly contagious virus on campuses.

The additional testing capacity will more than double the volume of testing that took place in schools across the country in November 2021, the most recent data available, the administration said. The move comes amid frustration and criticism over widespread shortages of at-home and laboratory tests nationally as cases soar.

“Today the Biden-Harris Administration is doubling down on our commitment to keeping all schools safely open for full-time in-person learning by taking new action to increase access to COVID-19 testing in schools,” the White House said in a news statement.

Source: White House boosts COVID tests for schools amid case surge – The Vacaville Reporter

Bay Area schools close due to staff shortages, high case rates – Times-Herald

By Kayla Jimenez and Thomas Gase

In the midst of a tumultuous back-to-school week underscored by numerous COVID-19 cases that have led to half-empty classrooms, administrators filling in for absent teachers and long testing lines, at least one large school district and some private and charter schools are closing temporarily, and others around the Bay Area are scrambling to keep classrooms open.

West Contra Costa Unified School District announced that it is closing its 54 schools Friday and Monday after almost a fourth of the district’s students missed class this week. The district is also closing its three COVID testing sites on Monday. The district does not plan to offer online instruction during the temporary closure.

Caliber ChangeMakers Academy, a charter school system with two campuses located in Vallejo and Richmond, is closing those schools Friday, Monday and Tuesday. And officials at Bentley School, a private school in Oakland, announced they are closing indefinitely starting Thursday and making a full return to online learning.

Source: COVID: Bay Area schools close due to staff shortages, high case rates – Times-Herald

State’s schools risk ‘colossal’ loss of dollars as enrollment drops – Daily Republic

By Joe Hong, CalMatters

As they await the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2022-23 state budget, school district officials across California are worried about losing millions of dollars all at once, resulting in staffing cuts in a time when students need more attention than ever.

After two years of not being penalized for declining enrollment during the pandemic, school districts are bracing for a sudden drop in revenues next year as their funding gets recalibrated to match current enrollment, which plummeted since Covid-19 first closed California’s schools.

“I’ve never ever seen a drop in enrollment come all at once like this,” said Andy Johnsen, superintendent at the San Marcos School District in north San Diego County. “The pandemic changed everything.”

Source: State’s schools risk ‘colossal’ loss of dollars as enrollment drops

CDE Releases Student Data for 2020-21 – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) today released student performance data that provide baseline indicators of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schools and students.

To prevent the spread of virus before development and widespread distribution of vaccines, most students learned from home for most of 2020–21 and returned to campuses in the spring either full-time or with hybrid (in-class and remote) instruction.

The 2020–21 data affirm both the challenges created by the pandemic and California’s commitment to helping students recover from COVID-19 via a bold slate of historic investments in student learning, health, and well-being. The $123.9 billion education package signed by Governor Newsom in July provides the highest level of K–12 funding in history, including the expansion of after-school and summer programs to accelerate learning and the creation of full-service community schools to address student mental health and wellness needs.

Source: CDE Releases Student Data for 2020-21 – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Staffing shortages put pressure on Solano schools to stay open – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

The spike in omicron-driven coronavirus cases is putting pressure on schools as they work to keep their classrooms open.

“I don’t think we are at a point where we are closing schools,” said Jaden Baird, executive director of Community Engagement and Administrative Services for the Fairfield-Suisun School District.

Baird said as of Friday, 6% of the workforce was out. Hitting the district harder than missing teachers, however, are shortages in maintenance workers and bus drivers.

Source: Staffing shortages put pressure on Solano schools to stay open

No vaccination deadline yet for Vallejo City Unified School District – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

While some school districts have established deadlines for students to be vaccinated, the Vallejo City Unified School District continues to track state timelines, according to district spokesperson Stephen Nichols.

“We are aligning our timelines with the state’s timeline on student vaccine requirements that will be put into place once the FDA has given full (not emergency use) authorization for the vaccines,” Nichols wrote in an email.

Nichols said the district does not have data to share regarding the status of the student vaccination goal.

Source: No vaccination deadline yet for Vallejo City Unified School District – Times-Herald

SPI Lays Out Needed Resources for CA Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today held a press conference at George Washington Preparatory High School, a site that also hosts a health clinic providing COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and boosters. There he outlined a number of key proposals to provide resources and supports to allow students to heal, recover, and thrive.

Thurmond began by addressing programs helping California schools get through this extremely difficult period of the pandemic, and that will transform California schools, including universal meals, universal transitional kindergarten for every four-year old, and universal expanded learning programs offering tutoring, mentoring, and coaching—because learning happens before school, during school, and after school.

“We are focused on recovery and dealing with impacts, but we cannot lessen our efforts to close the learning gaps that we were trying to close even before the pandemic,” said Thurmond. “We want to think about what we are going to do for California schools for the next several years to help them, and help our students to thrive.”

Source: SPI Lays Out Needed Resources for CA Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Vacaville school board approves health and safety plans – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Vacaville Unified school board approved an updated Health and Safety OSHA Covid-19 Prevention and Preparedness Program, as well as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III Plan at Thursday night’s meeting.

This plan will be amended as public health conditions, orders or guidance change, according to a staff report to the board.

The plan includes for training and instructions of staff, and an employee and student health screening process. The district also has a plan for communicating to staff and parents on issues related to Covid.

Source: Vacaville school board approves health and safety plans

SCOE officials hand out COVID test kits and will do so again in the new year – The Vacaville Reporter

By Richard Bammer

As parents and schools face another reckoning over COVID-19 with the rapid spread of the omicron variant, many may wonder whether in-person classes are worth the risk.

But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say schools can still be safe when simple protocols are followed. They include paying attention to social distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated.

However, with the variant’s reported ease of transmission worrying many, Solano County Office of Education officials on Wednesday made an effort to allay some fears by distributing iHealth COVID-19 home testing kits to school district representatives, educators and parents who dropped by the SCOE’s main office at 5100 Business Center Drive in Fairfield.

Source: SCOE officials hand out COVID test kits and will do so again in the new year – The Vacaville Reporter

New California COVID-19 guidelines: What to know – Times-Herald

By Louis Hansen

The California Department of Public Health has updated quarantine and isolation guidelines for COVID-19 — and this time, things are getting a bit less restrictive.

With the constantly mutating virus and evolving pandemic research, public health officials say the new shorter guidelines for staying at home announced late Thursday reflect a better balance between community health and a healthy, somewhat normal life.

The CDPH regulations mostly align California with federal rules updated Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new guidelines reduce recommended times to quarantine — staying at home and wearing a mask — for healthy people exposed to those infected from 10 to 5 days.

Source: New California COVID-19 guidelines: What to know – Times-Herald

School board in Vacaville to review Covid safety plan – Daily Republic

The school board will vote Thursday on an updated Health and Safety OSHA Covid-19 Prevention and Preparedness Program, as well as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III Plan.

This plan is a living document that will be amended as public health conditions, orders, and/or guidance change, according to a staff report.

Health and safety updates are regularly shared with students, staff and community members via the district website, weekly superintendent letters and blackboard communications.

Source: School board in Vacaville to review Covid safety plan

SPI Announces $2 Million in Grants Available – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that California community-based organizations will be able to apply for grants to address the social isolation experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its ongoing efforts to address the pandemic’s continued impact on students, the California Department of Education (CDE) will award grants of up to $250,000* each to community-based organizations that can demonstrate their ability to partner with schools and districts to provide programs and supports to offset the social isolation experienced by students during the pandemic and help them build healthy social connections.

The application process and criteria are available on the CDE website today, December 8, 2021, and the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022. The grants are funded through a $2 million appropriation in the 2021–22 California State Budget (AB 130, Chapter 44, Sec. 164).

Source: SPI Announces $2 Million in Grants Available – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)