From the Desk of the Superintendent

Superintendent David Haglund, Ed.D.
 

Dear PUSD community, 

 

I hope that you are well and enjoying summer rest and family time. The district team is fully engaged in preparations to welcome all students back to full-time in-person learning on Wednesday, August 11. We are preparing each campus with safety measures in place to ensure students and employees have safe facilities in which to learn and to work. 

 

Director Heather Pereira and the Educational Options team are excited to welcome families who have decided to maintain their student(s) in remote learning. The Pleasanton Virtual Academy is currently enrolling students in all grades, from within and beyond Pleasanton, in a new and innovative learning program that includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning and is fully aligned to SB 130 requirements for independent study. 

 

We are paying close attention to the rising case rates and spread of the Delta variant in the Bay Area and Alameda County and redoubling our efforts to ensure a safe return to school for students and staff. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified masking as a critical component of COVID-19 health and safety practices. The CDPH guidance states, “Masks are one of the most effective safety mitigation layers to prevent in-school transmission of COVID-19 infections and to support full time in-person instruction in K-12 schools”. 

 

Dr. Nick Moss noted in the Alameda County Public Health Department’s July 16, 2021 press release,  “After vaccination, masking is the next most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves and each other during this latest wave of infections.” He continues, “Wearing masks, especially indoors and in crowded outdoor settings, will help us contain this more transmissible variant.” Accordingly, as we welcome our families back, masks will be required indoors for all TK-12 students, regardless of vaccination status.

 

The CDPH guidance goes on to outline the following requirements for a safe opening for all: 

  • Our TK-12 students are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, with exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance. 
  • Adults in TK-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students. 
  • All students and staff that do not bring a mask to school will be provided with one by our sites.
  • Masks will be optional outdoors, unless in crowded gatherings.
  • Persons exempted from wearing a face-covering due to a medical condition, must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits doing so. Face shields will be made available upon request, as needed.

 

Universal masking is a minor inconvenience that allows our students to begin to learn and explore together, and our teachers can get back to delivering the classroom learning experiences to which our community is accustomed. I have been pleased to see our students continue to practice caution during Summer School at Amador Valley and Walnut Grove, with masks consistently worn indoors - and often outdoors, as well.  

 

Our school and district teams have done a remarkable job establishing and reinforcing important health and safety protocols. Likewise, the Pleasanton community has taken steps to ensure the safety and well-being of each community member. We must continue to stay the course.

If you are eligible but have not yet been vaccinated, I encourage you to find an opportunity to do so at your earliest convenience. Health professionals have assured us that being vaccinated is the best first strategy. It is something we can all do to provide a greater layer of protection for our youngest students and those who are subject to restrictions that inhibit vaccinating. If there were ever a time to invest in protecting yourself and our community, it is now. 

 

The California Department of Public Health and the Alameda County Public Health Department will continue to assess conditions and update school guidance. As necessary, we will update you regarding any local impact.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Haglund

Superintendent of Schools