Superintendent of Schools
Message from the Superintendent
September 21, 2021
Dear Union School District Community,
It is hard to believe we are in week seven of this extraordinary school year. Our students, staff members and families have truly made the first quarter of the school year memorable and fun. I would like to provide an update regarding health and safety measures with respect to modified quarantine and mask requirements as the safety of our students and staff members on campus remains a top priority.
Since the beginning of the school year, USD has employed multiple layers of protection and mitigation strategies to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 based on the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH). USD has successfully implemented the modified quarantine guidance from the CDPH allowing us to maximize the amount of in-person instruction for our eligible students who are identified as close contacts to a positive COVID case. Our mitigation strategies from day one have allowed families to choose whether to have their child remain on campus as applicable under all modified quarantine eligibility requirements. I want to thank all our staff and families for the continued partnership in this process; it is truly a collaborative effort between our schools and families.
Our current indoor/outdoor mask requirement aligns with the CDPH guidelines that were updated on September 1st. The CDPH updated the definition of who is eligible for a modified quarantine in schools that now includes language for both indoor and outdoor school settings. To ensure students are eligible for the CDPH modified quarantine requirements and following consultation with the Board of Trustees, USD will continue with both indoor and outdoor mask requirements for students and staff.
The updated quarantine protocols allow students to stay in school while participating in modified quarantine when they are a “close contact” with a COVID positive individual only if they were masked.
The modified quarantine guidance from the CDPH is listed below:
When both parties wear a mask in any school setting in which students are supervised by school staff (including indoor or outdoor school settings), unvaccinated students who are close contacts (more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within 0-6 feet) may undergo a modified quarantine as follows. They may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they:
Continue to appropriately mask, as required;
Undergo at least twice weekly testing during quarantine; and
Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting.
In order to continue providing the CDPH modified quarantine option, students and staff members will continue to be required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors while on campus (except when eating or drinking, engaging in vigorous physical exercise, or when taking a mask break outdoors distanced at least 6 feet from other individuals). Should the CDPH release updated guidance regarding mask wearing in indoor/outdoor settings, staff will review and adapt our district protocols as appropriate.
I want to thank you for the shared commitment to our students and to providing our students with a safe learning environment. With our entire community participating in the layers of mitigation, we have been able to keep our classrooms open, keep our students learning, and keep our community informed.
Dr. Carrie Andrews
USD School Bell: September 2021 Edition
August 23, 2021
Dear Union School District Families and Staff Members,
As of today, we have confirmed a total of 18 COVID positive cases from just last week within our school district (3 staff and 15 students). The number of COVID positive cases has risen, and as shared last Friday with our USD community, an immediate response is required to slow down any spread in our schools.
Due to this reality, and following consultation with our Board of Trustees, all USD students will be required to wear masks both indoors and outdoors for the next 30 days. This is a decision in alignment with CDC recommendations advising unvaccinated individuals to wear masks in crowded outdoor settings.
Tracking unmasked and unvaccinated students is problematic and challenging, and given the crowded nature of our school campuses during unstructured activity time such as playing during recess or socializing in groups, wearing masks provides an additional layer of protection when students are in close proximity to one another.
By taking this approach, we are seeking to contain the virus that we know is in our community from spreading further to lower the current infection rate so we can keep our kids in school and keep schools open. Students will be allowed to remove their masks when eating, drinking, or during vigorous exercise in physical education. As always, students will be allowed to remove their masks for short breaks outdoors, when distanced six feet from other people. This will allow students to get fresh air without creating health concerns for others.
Although I recognize that some in our community may not be in favor of this approach, I can state that this approach will allow for us to maintain our overall goal of keeping students in school.
Like you, I cannot wait to return to a normal where all of these mitigation strategies and/or requirements are no longer necessary. However, we are still in the middle of a pandemic that continues to evolve within our community.
On behalf of the Union School District, thank you for your support as we all do our part to minimize the spread of COVID in our community and as we work together to prioritize keeping kids in school.
Dr. Carrie Andrews
About Dr. Carrie Andrews, Ph.D.
Dr. Carrie Andrews joined USD in July 2021 as the new Superintendent of Schools. She was previously with the Cambrian School District since 2013 and served as the Superintendent in Cambrian since 2014. Dr. Andrews received her undergraduate degree in Applied Science from the University of Minnesota Duluth and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Santa Barbara. She began her career instructing students ages 6-10 in New Zealand, before teaching 6th grade Math and English Language Arts in Edina, MN. From there, Dr. Andrews moved to Stockton, CA, where she taught 3rd-5th grade in Stockton, CA and Santa Barbara, CA. She also served as a site administrator in Campbell and Saratoga, CA.
Dr. Andrews is committed to fostering student growth, community involvement, staff collaboration, and supporting teachers. She effectively oversees enrollment, fiscal stewardship, and external community relations. Dr. Andrews encourages transparency and champions every child. She has served as the ACSA Superintendent Council Representative for Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Superintendents Association Chair and served as Principal of Marshall Lane Elementary School when it was awarded a California Distinguished School. A tireless advocate for public education, Dr. Andrews is an active member of the community and partners with local agencies and businesses to increase educational opportunities.