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Board Meeting Highlights - February 10, 2021
Posted 2/11/21

At its February 10th meeting, The FUSD Board of Education:


Received Update on Future Return to In-Person Instruction – The Alameda County Office of Education and Alameda County Public Health continue to make adjustments to the guidance and regulations related to returning students to campus for in-person instruction. On January 14, The California Department of Public Health published their COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year. On February 1, FUSD's COVID Safety Plan (CSP) - incorporating COVID Prevention Plans (CPP) - was posted and distributed for review and feedback. Staff presented information to the Board of Education regarding the progress toward a return to campus, including Learning Hubs, information from recent surveys, and any relevant changes in local and state mandates/legislation, and progress of vaccinations within Alameda County.

Received Ideas for Budget Reductions for 2021-2022 School Year – The district once again is facing difficult choices which have been exacerbated by the economic impact of the current global pandemic. In addition to the pandemic, the district is still experiencing impacts from declining enrollment, enrollment over-projections, and increased costs of pensions and special education.  At First Interim, Fremont Unified projected a budget short-fall for FY 2021-22 and FY 2022-23 of $17.6 and $13.3 million respectively. The district updated the first interim multi-year projections after the Governor's FY 2021-22 Budget was released.  The Governor's budget reflects increased funding for K-12 education and would reduce our deficit for FY 2021-22 from $17.6 to $6.4 and for FY 2022-23 from $13.3 million to $6.3 million.  Although the district's budget has improved dramatically, the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) has required the district to maintain the First Interim level of reductions at $17 million. ACOE cited the primary reasons for the district's current budget circumstances include declining enrollment, enrollment over-projection, and an inability to meet prior budget balancing solution targets. Based on these items, ACOE has advised of the need for FUSD to successfully implement $17.6 million in reductions/revenue enhancements requiring the district to implement $17 million in ongoing budget balancing solutions no later than February 24, and submitting to ACOE on or before Feb. 26.  The ACOE has stated that if the district is unable to implement the required solutions, it will result in ACOE designating FUSD as “Lack of Going Concern.”  This designation would allow ACOE to assign a Fiscal Administrator to the district which would have full “Stay and Rescind” authority in regard to Board Actions and decisions. This is the first of several Board and community meetings on the budget in which the Board will be required to take final action at the February 24, Board Meeting. See full presentation here.

Approved Athletic Return to Competition Status Per NCS and MVAL Guidelines – The CIF and North Coast Section (NCS) met several times in January 2021 to determine how and when to begin competitive seasons and safely bring athletes back for competition. NCS and the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) agreed to follow all public health guidelines from the State of California and Alameda County in their decision-making and planning. As a result, the MVAL Board of Managers voted to begin competitive seasons on March 1, 2021, and follow the Amended Sports Schedule which links sports start dates to the purple, red, orange, and yellow tiers.  The current and updated plan for FUSD athletes features new protocols and procedures which are in addition to those approved in July, October, and November 2020.  All new and updated language is indicated with green text. Staff requests the Board approve athletic return to competition status in alignment with Alameda County and State of California guidelines, and MVAL and NCS regulations for athletics.

Received a Presentation and Consider Options for Housing Both the Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) and Spanish Dual Immersion Program (SDI) for 2021/2022. The Board was asked to Approve an Option for Each Program – In the spring of 2020, the FUSD Board of Education asked that an SDI/MIP Immersion Task Force be convened to identify recommendations for a site to grow the Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) and to identify a site to unify the Spanish Dual Immersion program (SDI). The composition of the task force includes FUSD teachers, principals currently serving at Azevada and Grimmer Elementary Schools, parent/community members, two Board Trustees, and FUSD staff. The task force was asked to review the opportunities for each program, draft a recommendation based on their findings, and present the findings for both the short-term, and long-term to the Board of Education during the 2020/2021 school year. The MIP/SDI Task force began their work on September 14, 2020, and met monthly to develop recommendations for the Board. The task force reviewed current capacity reports, enrollment projections, previous and current demographic reports, site layouts, and reviewed the unique needs for each immersion program. Input from stakeholders was shared with task force members and provided to the larger task force. This input was also taken into consideration when developing the current proposed recommended options for each program. The current recommendations are based on short-term solutions with the understanding that the ultimate goal is to unify MIP to one site and SDI to one site. No neighborhood students would be displaced with any of the staff recommendations. Staff is presenting the following options for Board consideration (presentation):

Options for the Mandarin Immersion Program

  • Option A Mandarin Immersion Program Unification at one site:
    • Lila Bringhurst (if available)
  • Option B Sister school for K-6 strand of MIP at a school that will accommodate the immediate needs of the program:
    • Blacow Elementary

Options for the Spanish Dual Immersion Program

  • Option A Spanish Dual Immersion Program Unification at one site:
    • Lila Bringhurst (if available)
    • Grimmer Elementary
  • Option B Consolidation to two sites
    • Option 1: Grimmer and Blacow
    • Option 2: Grimmer and Vallejo Mill

Board votes 5-0 to expand MIP to Blacow Elementary School and to consolidate SDI program to Grimmer and Vallejo Mill Elementary Schools.

Authorized the District’s Participation in the Valencia Branch Labs (VBL) Program for COVID-19 Screening Testing of Employees – Valencia Branch Labs (VBL) is the state-run testing program spearheaded by the California COVID-19 Testing Task Force.  The Alameda Office of Education (ACOE) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with VBL in January 2021, providing all local education agencies (LEAs) in Alameda County access to COVID-19 screening testing.  The ACOE also provides support to LEAs with the roll-out of testing, responding to inquiries, and discussing best practices. There is no cost to employees or the district. The following are components of the VBL program:

  • The onboarding process will be facilitated through the Color software platform;
  • VBL will provide the District with COVID-19 test kits and detailed support and instructions for operating testing sites (details to be worked out with each District regarding test sites and frequency of testing);
  • The District will manage on-site logistics, including registration, obtaining employee consent and release before collecting their test sample and sending it to VBL;
  • Turnaround time for results is expected to be 24-48 hours;
  • VBL will bill the employee's medical insurance for the cost of the test, and will not bill the employee or the District.

See Video of entire meeting here 


The Board’s next Regular Meeting (virtual) is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24th, 6:30pm (time subject to change)