Greetings to our families, students and staff.
As I mentioned in my message last week, we learned from the state Office of Emergency Services that there will be a slight delay in receiving all 17,000 of the antigen testing kits we planned to use as part of our surveillance COVID testing rollout. This week we learned that we are getting a portion of the needed supply (5,800). Supply shortages are impacting COVID-19 testing nationwide. As a result we are currently adjusting our surveillance testing plans.
Each Friday I will be sending families and staff a COVID update newsletter to ensure you have accurate and timely information on topics like testing, vaccines etc., in addition we will be posting our positive case rates on our website at https://www.sbunified.org/support/covid-19-resources.
We are doing everything we can to keep our students IN school by keeping COVID OUT.
As the Delta variant continues to create concerns, we are asking everyone to practice the health and safety protocols we have in place. We’ve asked our staff to keep their classrooms well-ventilated, take advantage of outdoor learning spaces, continue to practice social distancing whenever possible and help ensure that students are wearing their masks properly. We have ordered 1,200 air purifiers for our classrooms and offices as yet another way of helping to keep our spaces safe. We expect those to be delivered next week.
We are pleased to be partnering with county Public Health in hosting a free Vaccination clinic at Franklin Elementary School on Wednesday, September 8 from 4 - 7:30 pm. Walkins are welcome. Please join us by informing your friends and family who need vaccines about this opportunity.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, our community of mental health advocates, survivors, allies, and others unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. As a person who lost someone I loved to suicide, this work is near and dear to my heart and I encourage everyone to support those suffering from anxiety and depression by sharing resources for help.
Our website is full of age-appropriate resources to support youth Mental Health, so please take a look if you or someone you care about is in need of support.
I wanted to reiterate my message to alert our families, out of an abundance of caution, and as we continue to closely monitor COVID rates, we may be restricting overnight travel for students to essential overnight travel only. We realize this may bring disappointment for students and families who were looking forward to field trips or other extracurricular events. Administrators will review and approve essential travel and put mitigation strategies in place like requiring a negative COVID test before and after travel. Additionally, a bus driver shortage that has become an issue nationwide has been seriously impacting our district and I want to thank the staff and families who continue to drive their students to school. We ask for your continued support as we must continue to put Health & Safety above all.
I hope that everyone has the opportunity to attend their student’s Back to School night to meet your principals and teachers who are excited to share their plans for the school year.
Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. We hope you enjoy your Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6, 2021.
I thank you again for practicing patience and compassion for others as we work together to keep our students safe and in school.