Superintendent of Schools
From the Superintendent
January 6, 2022 - Read the latest Health Update from Dr. Andrews on Smore.
Dear Union School District Families and Staff,
Welcome back to school in 2022! We are already well into the first week of school in the new year. Being on the school campus, our kids are so happy to be back together again after the two week break. The joy of learning in person is vital and rest assured that USD is committed to maintaining in person learning through the current conditions with COVID. We strongly recognize the overwhelming benefits for our kids with in person learning and socialization with one's peers. Similar to what State Superintendent Tony Thurmond reiterated, schools will do everything they can to remain open for in-person learning amid the Omicron surge. You have my commitment that is the direction we will maintain to the best of our ability for the benefit of our students.
I do want to acknowledge the great work our district accomplished prior to the Winter holiday break as USD was able to provide every student and staff member with an at home COVID test kit. We were fortunate to have secured approximately 6,000 tests to provide that additional layer of testing before returning this past week. It made it easy for families and staff members to test prior to returning this past week.
In addition, our partnership with Grapefruit testing has been pivotal in supporting in person instruction this school year. Without missing a beat, our on site COVID testing continues in 2022 during the school day as an additional measure for our students and staff. USD is still committed to providing this additional support during the school day and if you would like to sign up your child for weekly no cost COVID PCR testing through Grapefruit you can fill out a consent form here.
Please be rest assured that USD is committed to keeping in-person learning safe. We feel strongly that children need to be in school for the richness of in-person learning and socialization. With multi-layered mitigation protocols such as universal masking indoors, frequent hand washing, ventilation and filtration, ongoing testing for COVID-19, vaccinations, and parent responsibility to keep symptomatic children home, we feel confident we are providing a safe learning environment. This newsletter outlines the up to date health information as we prioritize in person instruction and learning.
Given the current trend, we are seeing positive cases within our community and schools, but our focus is continuing with the known health and safety mitigation strategies as per the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH). This week being back we do have more students, teachers, and staff who are home isolating. USD is fortunate to have a large substitute pool that enjoys working in our District. However, at this time we are needing to adjust when we do not have enough substitutes. To cover staffing shortages, administrators and credentialed staff from other positions in the District will be covering classes when a substitute cannot be found. We see this as a short term situation for January as the CDPH forecasts that the peak of cases will be in the next two weeks, with predicted improvement in the next month.
In addition, for the time being, indoor events will be limited to household family members of the participants. This includes indoor athletics and other indoor events such as plays, concerts, performances. We currently are working with school sites as to any planned large events for January that can be postponed until February for the time being. Our number one priority remains to keep kids in school.
Thank you for your continued support as we work together for all of our students. As information changes I will most certainly keep you apprised and thank you again for the shared partnership to prioritize our students.
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 Educational Leadership and Organizations from the University of California 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.