Superintendent's Community Update: October 8, 2021 (English/Spanish/Simplified Chinese)

October 1, 2021

Student Vaccination Mandates and the Week of the School Administrator

Dear Albany Community,

It has been eleven days since AUSD has reported a case of COVID-19 among staff or students! No classes are in quarantine at this time. I am so encouraged to see the dropping rates of COVID-19 infection, and feel a growing sense that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The new world that we will enter has been changed because of the pandemic, and there will be a different idea of normal. 

Student COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

Part of that new normal will be a requirement for students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as one of the mandatory childhood immunizations required before entering school. This new law from the state of California will not take effect until the semester following full (not emergency) FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccinations for each age group. It is predicted that this will happen for ages 12 and older before July 2022, meaning that next August, all students in that age group will be required to have proof of vaccination on file with the District.

Will AUSD Act Sooner?

Several districts in the state have enacted or are debating policies that would accelerate this timeline. The Albany Board of Education discussed this at their last meeting and will discuss it again at their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 12. They will be considering a draft policy that would require proof of vaccination or weekly testing by January 3, 2022 for students ages 12 and older. The draft, which is of course subject to change, also specifies that when the vaccine becomes available for younger students, families will have 12 weeks to submit proof of vaccination to the District, or students will need to be tested weekly. Please join the meeting to learn more or if you would like to comment.

Indoor Masking News

You may have seen the news that Bay Area counties have reached agreement on the criteria necessary to remove the requirement to wear a mask in public places. This criteria does not apply to our schools. Current masking mandates for TK-12 schools are under the order of the California Department of Public Health, as part of the effort to keep schools open for in-person instruction and are due to the large numbers of students that don’t qualify yet for vaccines. All staff and students at AUSD schools will continue to be masked indoors and outdoors while on campus.  The state is set to review its masking orders for schools and provide updates by November 1. 

Week of the School Administrator

Next week, October 10–16, is the Week of the School Administrator. These are our amazing principals and assistant principals, who keep our schools running smoothly everyday, and handle with calmness and grace anything and everything that comes up at school. Please take a moment to send your thoughts to your school administrators next week, and let them know how much you value their work. 

Stay hopeful and encouraged, 

Dr. Frank Wells 

Superintendent of Schools

Albany Unified School District