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Superintendent’s Update – August 27, 2021

IN-PERSON BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

The September 14 Board of Education meeting will include live public participation. While the staff and members of the Board have been in-person, this will be the first opportunity for public comment to be shared in-person. Speakers must provide proof of vaccination prior to entry at the door and must remain masked while indoors. Both of these provisions are consistent with visitors on our school sites. Public comment will also remain available via the same virtual option used for over a year. More details will be provided next Friday.

STUDENT VACCINATION VERIFICATION

PAUSD is now providing an option for families with students in grades 6-12 to submit verification of COVID-19 vaccination. This optional service will assist in determining quarantine requirements when positive cases arise.

How is information submitted?

Parents must submit the information on behalf of their children via ParentSquare. The form can be found by logging into ParentSquare and locating the Post with the title "Student Vaccination Submission."

Is this mandatory?

No, but any student who volunteers at another campus (e.g. a high school student volunteering at an elementary campus) must be vaccinated and submit proof.

Why is this information helpful to PAUSD?

In the event of exposure, staff will be able to expedite the notification process and potentially reduce the amount of time a student is limited from attending school or participating in extra-curricular activities and athletics. The guidelines for quarantine and testing are impacted by vaccination status.

What information needs to be submitted for proof of vaccination?

Submit either a close-up photo of your vaccination card or a screenshot of your CDPH Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record.

When is someone considered vaccinated?

A person is considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.

COVID ASYMPTOMATIC STAFF AND STUDENT TESTING LAUNCHES WEEK OF AUGUST 30

In partnership with Predicine Labs, we will be providing on-site COVID-19 testing throughout the school day. Elementary students will use an oral swab, while older students and staff will use a nasal swab. Students and staff who want to participate, will need to have a completed Test Requisition Form (TRF). The TRF will go home with students on Monday.

Parents/guardians do not need to be present during the test, as long as the TRF is completed and signed by the parent/guardian. Results will be available within 24-48 hours from the test collection. Parents will be informed of test results by Predicine Labs.

Each site will determine how students will access the testing throughout the day. For example, some elementary schools will designate times for each classroom to have the students participate in testing throughout the day. High schools may encourage students to participate before or after class, during passing times, or other non-class time.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact PAUSD Health Services Department via email at health@pausd.org, or you can call (650)833-4240.

Schedule for Week of August 30:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No testing Addison
Walter Hays
Duveneck
Ohlone
Palo Verde
Nixon
Hoover
Fairmeadow
Briones
Barron Park
El Carmelo
Escondido
Paly
Gunn
JLS
Greene
Fletcher
District Office
Greendell/ Cubberley

Schedule for Week of September 6:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Testing Addison
Walter Hays
Duveneck
Greene
Ohlone
Palo Verde
El Carmelo
Paly
Hoover
Fairmeadow
JLS
Nixon
Escondido
Briones
Barron Park
Fletcher
Gunn

Ongoing schedule beginning Week of September 13:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
District Office
Greendell/ Cubberley
Addison
Walter Hays
Duveneck
Greene
Ohlone
Palo Verde
El Carmelo
Paly
Hoover
Fairmeadow
JLS
Nixon
Escondido
Briones
Barron Park
Fletcher
Gunn

ONE SCENARIO - TWO COUNTIES - TWO OUTCOMES

The COVID rules are confusing, ever-changing, and full of room for interpretation. For those who enjoy an informal example of how things work practically, I am going to illustrate how quarantine and testing rules for two counties, Santa Clara and Los Angeles, are remarkably different. It may help to make sense of things you will see on the news across our state.

Hypothetical Scenario:

On a particular day, four positive COVID cases are reported at the fictitious school, Regulations Elementary School. Each case is in a different class and there is no link between them. All students are under the age of 12 are unvaccinated. All students are masked indoors and outdoors. All four cases are reported to the principal on Tuesday after all four students were in their classes on Monday. In an amazing coincidence, all four impacted classes had 21 students each. Since seating charts don't really limit interactions and movement with our youngest learners, entire classes are seen as close contacts.

If Regulations Elementary School is in Los Angeles County:

Los Angeles County does not use the California modified quarantine rules. The four infected students are quarantined for 10 days. Using their rules, the remaining 80 students are notified that there was a positive case and are all quarantined for 10 days. Regulations Elementary School treats them all the same, regardless of symptoms, proximity, or testing. The staff at Regulations Elementary School has a clean decision path. Unfortunately, 80 potentially-healthy students are out of school for two weeks. They do have the option of providing a negative test (on their own) after Day 5, but cannot return until after Day 7. If all of the students were able to purchase and present a negative test for a return the day after Day 7 (Day 8), healthy students will have lost a cumulative 560 days of school and the infected students would be out for a cumulative 40 days. The grand total of days lost would be 600.

If Regulations Elementary School is in Santa Clara County:

Santa Clara county adopted the California modified quarantine rules. The four infected students in the same scenario would be quarantined for 10 days at home. The remaining 80 students would receive notification of the contact. Further, all 80 students would receive two PCR tests during the next 10 days while monitoring for symptoms. The staff work is more complicated than their peers in Los Angeles County, including the dissemination of two tests for each contact. In this scenario, the staff would track 160 tests and deliver 80 notification letters. Assuming no positive tests or symptoms occurred, the 80 contact students would not miss a single day of school. The four infected students would miss a total of 40 days. The grand total of days lost would be 40.

Summary:

Every scenario has nuances. The examples are not designed to be absolutely precise. They are designed to illustrate the differences in approach. We are thankful that our students can avoid massive numbers of days missed when healthy. We also understand that some people would prefer the Los Angeles County model. Personally, I would rather take on a challenging work load for our staff than to send home healthy students on the back end of an extended closure.

INDEPENDENT STUDY / IN-PERSON

Our Independent Study numbers have dropped from a high of 223 to a current number of 147. Families may still move in either direction. Of the 147 students, 17 are high school students and 25 are middle school students.

STANDARDIZATION OF DATA REPORTS

We have been working with a third-party, 5Labs, to standardize data reports for 2021-22. Our past reports have depended largely on hand calculations and customized reports. The limited additional value is erased by the enormous amount of staff time devoted to clerical tasks. 5Labs pulls data from our system and populates standard reports for topics like D/F information, attendance, CAASPP scores, and BAS entries. The reports will have a look and feel that should be more consistent and intuitive.