DAILY UPDATE #160 -- 11/12/2020
- NEW ITEMS
- DISTRICT COMMUNICATIONS
The following Press Release went out on November 10:
San Diego Unified, UC San Diego Reach Deal on COVID-19 Testing for Students, Staff
SAN DIEGO -- Students and school employees throughout San Diego Unified will receive regular COVID-19 tests with rapid results under a proposed agreement with UC San Diego Health. The testing program is the result of months of collaboration among the district, the San Diego Education Association, and UC San Diego in an effort to keep schools safe as in-person instruction is expanded gradually and in phases.
The San Diego Unified Board of Education is meeting tonight to authorize an initial $5 million investment in the testing plan, which includes a joint laboratory services testing agreement with UC San Diego Medical Center. Following approval, the county’s largest school district and UC San Diego Health will select several campuses where testing will begin. Eventually, the program could be expanded to include all 100,000 students within the district and its more than 10,000 staff members.
From the beginning of the pandemic, UC San Diego Health has provided expansive and growing COVID-19 testing services to patients, university faculty, students and staff and to external organizations and communities. UC San Diego Health’s Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine can process thousands of COVID-19 tests per day, covering multiple types of testing. Results are typically returned within 24 hours. This capacity continues to grow.
“This testing program is an essential part of our plan to continue teaching students in the middle of global pandemic,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said. “The science is clear. We can prevent 90 percent of disease spread at schools simply by putting in place a robust testing program like the one we are announcing today.”
Under the testing plan with UC San Diego Health, all employees and students would have access to PCR testing every two weeks on San Diego Unified campuses. Testing frequency would be adapted over time and based on virus and transmission rates, among other parameters. No decision has been reached on whether the testing would be mandatory, as district leaders say they want to assess voluntary compliance rates once implementation begins.
“Testing is the cornerstone of any plan to reopen our schools,” Pradeep K. Khosla, UC San Diego Chancellor said. “This important MOU agreement is part of a more comprehensive reopening strategy being developed by San Diego Unified with consultation from UC San Diego. Our faculty, researchers and clinicians continue to offer our planning expertise, best practices, and successful experience in reopening a large campus. We are pleased to share our growing knowledge with our community.”
San Diego Unified has been in close collaboration with UC San Diego since it jointly established strict health and safety guidelines for reopening schools with a panel of its top scientific experts in August. Scientists from UCSD have worked closely with district leaders to protect students and staff from the airborne transmission of COVID-19 disease.
“We were all encouraged by news this week of a potential vaccine," Board President John Lee Evans said. “But even if a vaccine should become available, we are talking about months and months before it would actually reach all our students and staff. That is why this testing agreement is essential to our continued ability to operate safely.”
San Diego Unified has advocated for a statewide testing program. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Superintendent Marten, and San Diego Education Association President Kisha Borden sent a letter urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to focus on COVID-19 testing in schools on Oct. 16. That correspondence came on the heels of a letter to the governor from big city mayors, representing the 13 largest cities in the state -- and 11 million residents -- calling for more resources to be devoted to COVID-19 testing in schools.
San Diego Unified has been preparing for the safe reopening of schools for months with the purchase of $45 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety upgrades, including air filters, desk shields and hand sanitizing stations. The district has received some 200,000 masks in child and adult sizes from the state, along with 14,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.
“Quick, accurate testing is fundamental to any successful effort to reopen, whether it is schools or businesses, and to eventually returning to a sense of normalcy,” said Patty Maysent, CEO, UC San Diego Health. “Our physicians and scientists have been working this challenge since the first days of the pandemic. They have built rigorous models, systems and programs based on science, evidence and best practices. We are pleased to be a part of efforts to get children back into classrooms, safely.”
San Diego Unified elementary school teachers returned to campus to provide appointment-based, in-person instruction for students with the greatest needs on Oct. 13 under Phase 1 of reopening.
"To a teacher, the only thing more important than being back in her classroom with her students is her commitment to keep those students safe. This new testing plan is an important step towards keeping our students, families, staff and community safe,” Borden said. “For that reason, we are proud to be here today to support this crucial announcement. This is what our educators have been waiting for. Teachers, counselors, nurses and other SDEA members are eager to get back into the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so, and the key to that return rests with this testing plan.”
Board Vice President Richard Barrera expressed the hope the San Diego Unified - UC San Diego testing plan could be a model for other districts around the state to implement.
“This agreement represents the best of San Diego, where we understand the importance of coming together to tackle big problems,” Barrera said. “This collaboration between a world-class research school like UC San Diego and a world-class public school system, San Diego Unified, shows what is possible when we all focus on what is best for students.”
The following communication was sent from Custodial Operations to BSS/POS' on November 10:
Many of you have received air purifiers and are currently using them in specific areas around your campuses as advised. Continue to store unused air purifiers in a safe, secure area until a need arises for usage. I have included an instructional video that covers different aspects regarding the use and maintenance of your units. Equipment used in the video for servicing your air purifiers has been ordered and you will be receiving them soon on one of your scheduled deliveries. Please watch and share the video in its entirety for information and direction. Thank you all for your support in keeping our students and staff in a safe environment.
SDUSD Air Purifiers Final Revision
Custodial Operations Program Supervisor
San Diego Unified School District
Physical Plant Operations
Telephone: (858) 627-7148
Cell: (619) 273-9076
Fax: (858) 496-1737
The following communication was sent to principals on November 10:
- PPE CATALOG
- The district has the necessary PPE on hand and available; this catalog displays the various types of PPE: SDUSD PPE Catalog.
- We have been and are continuing to move PPE to sites to be ready for the ramp up to Phase 2.
- We are following enrollment and staffing information to determine how much PPE to send to sites, but if you need more, or something different, please don’t hesitate to ask by contacting PPE@sandi.net or the principal’s operations hotline at (858) 634-4058.
- NATIONAL SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY WEEK
- November 9-13, 2020 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW). Let’s celebrate and highlight all of the important work our school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive.
- This year's theme is 'The Power of Possibility.' "When we focus on what is possible, we have hope that students will grow, thrive and bloom."
- Please see NASP for additional resources to support students.
- OTHER NEWS
Who’s Learning at School and Who Isn’t? SD County Information (SD Union Tribune, November 11)
SD County Office of Education (SDCOE) Launches Reopening Dashboard (SDCOE, November 12)
San Diego County’s Move into Purple Tier Means Some Schools May Not be Able to Reopen (CBS8, November 11)
Why health experts believe a winter surge in COVID 19 cases is inevitable (SD Union Tribune, November 11)
Home schooling is way up with COVID 19 (EdWeek, November 9)
- AASD/DISTRICT "HOTLINE" INFORMATION
The hotline established with the District is available to AASD unit members and other management who are charged with enforcing the health and safety policies and procedures. Call the hotline when you need immediate assistance when conflicts arise, clarification is needed, or decisions must be made regarding health and safety matters.
This hotline is for ALL AASD represented members, both classified and certificated. The hotline phone number is (619) 981-0760. The hotline is available on all District workdays, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In the rare event that a message must be left, all calls will be returned promptly, within the same day.
- SPECIAL GRATITUDE
If an AASD member has a department or individual that deserves special recognition during this time of crisis, please use the link below for reporting issues/questions/concerns/gratitude to show your gratitude for the department or individual. AASD will publish that special thanks in our next Daily Update.
- AASD OFFICE CLOSURE
AASD will be sending out a Daily Update, Monday-Friday, throughout the return to instruction/school reopening period. The Weekly Update will continue as usual on Thursdays with the typical news and information for AASD members. The AASD Office continues to remain closed. AASD staff are working remotely and can be reached via the contact information at the end of this Update.
AASD has created a Google Form for AASD Members to report issues, questions or concerns regarding work-related issues, COVID-19, return to instruction and school reopening. AASD will provide answers to issues, questions or concerns submitted as answers become available. You may also share your gratitude for another AASD member, district personnel, etc., via the same link.
The link to share issues/questions/concerns/gratitude is:
Please do not share this link outside of AASD membership (classified and certificated management/supervisors). The link will be active until this crisis is over.
NOTE: All previous AASD Daily Updates and Weekly Updates are located on the AASD Website www.aasdcs.org if you need to refer back to them for information.
- DISTRICT WEBSITE
For your convenience, the District has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions. To access that list, click the link https://sites.google.com/sandi.net/covid19/staff-info
- AASD CONTACT INFORMATION
Executive Director, Donis Coronel -- email@example.com 619-813-8792
Office Manager, Linda Crout-Hamel -- firstname.lastname@example.org 619-861-2701
Office Clerk, Jim Costello -- email@example.com
Please keep informed via the District’s website www.sandi.net, Daily Updates from AASD and via the AASD Website www.aasdcs.org.