- Helms Middle School
Return to 100 Percent In-Person Instruction Update: Covid-19 Vaccines for Staff & Testing frequency
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Good afternoon WCCUSD Community,
The start of the 2021-2022 school year is just six days away. As we prepare for the return to 100% In-Person Instruction on Monday, August 16, we have a safety update about the Covid-19 vaccine requirement for staff and testing frequency for staff and students.
The health and safety of WCCUSD students and staff are our top priorities. We know getting the Covid-19 vaccine, and Covid-19 testing are two essential pieces in slowing the spread of Covid-19.
As a result, we are following the State’s lead and Contra Costa County Health Services recommendation by:
- Requiring staff members to show proof of the Covid-19 vaccine or to be tested weekly.
- Increasing our testing cadence to once a week for students and unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff members.
The Covid-19 vaccination requirement for staff begins Monday, September 7, to allow staff members time to get vaccinated. Weekly testing starts Monday, August 16.
In the Spring, 79% of staff members said they were fully vaccinated or had their first shot, and another 11% said they had their first shot scheduled or needed assistance in securing an appointment.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the Covid-19 vaccine requirement for school employees earlier today in Oakland.
Last week at the Board Meeting, Contra Costa Health recommended weekly testing for students and staff. We agree and have adjusted accordingly.
County Health and the California Department of Public Health also stressed that reopening schools could occur safely with the proper mitigation strategies. In addition to increased testing and requiring staff vaccinations, we are following the County and CDPH guidance by:
- Requiring masks to be worn indoors at all times by students and staff
- Encouraging all those eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine
- Improving or upgrading the ventilation in classrooms and buildings that required them
- Stressing the importance of hand hygiene (handwashing and hand sanitizer)
- Practicing home self-screening (staying home when sick)
- Continuing to practice physical distancing when possible
- Limiting visitors on school campuses
The District’s Covid-19 safety precautions are in this Parent/Family Handbook. You can also visit www.wccusd.net/return2school for more information, including the Return to 100% In-Person Instruction plan.
The testing form is here. Here are additional forms (Non-Insurance, Hold Harmless) for families. The forms are also on the District’s website in two locations: www.wccusd.net/return2school and in the Digital Backpack www.wccusd.net/digitalbackpack, which is available on each school’s website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school or me. I can’t wait to see everyone on Monday.
Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst