Rapid COVID Home Tests for Students – December 29, 2021
Dear LMSV Families,
This holiday season, the State of California encourages all children to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to school from winter break. In response to the increase in COVID-19 rates due to the Omicron variant, the state is partnering with public school districts to quickly distribute millions of free COVID-19 home tests to students. Beginning Thursday (12/30), we will have rapid “iHealth” home tests available for pick up at our district office in La Mesa. Here are the details:
Home tests will be distributed in a drive-thru format at the following locations and times:
4750 Date Avenue, La Mesa, 91942
Thursday 12/30 – 9 AM to 4 PM
Friday 12/31 – 9 AM to 4 PM
Saturday 1/1 – 9 AM to 12 PM
Sweetwater Springs Elementary School
10129 Austin Dr, Spring Valley, CA 91977
Monday 1/3 – 9 AM to 4 PM
Important: One home test kit has been allocated for each student. You will need to provide your student’s name, date of birth, grade, and school name at the time of pick up. Tests are for use by LMSV students only.
- Are students required to test before returning to school next week? No. While testing is not required for students to return to school, it is recommended that they be tested for COVID-19 before returning from break.
- What if my child tests positive for COVID-19? If your child tests positive, you must keep them home from school and contact your doctor and your school right away.
- What if my child doesn’t attend an LMSV school? Tests have been allocated by the state for use by current LMSV students only.
- Are there other testing options are available? No-cost COVID-19 tests are administered throughout the county. Click here to find a testing site near you.
- Why weren’t the free home tests made available sooner? There is a shortage of home tests statewide. Prior to the winter break, the state ran out of tests in a matter of hours, with large quantities being allocated to the largest school districts. This week, however, the California Department of Public Health announced that millions of home tests had been secured for students.
Our students, employees, and families have been working tirelessly to keep schools safe and open for in-person learning. Your efforts make all the difference. Thank you!
About the Proposed State Vaccine Mandate – November 4, 2021
On October 1, Governor Newsom announced the state’s extended plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of student vaccinations required for in-person school attendance. The state’s plan, however, will not be implemented until a COVID-19 vaccine receives full FDA approval for the applicable student age group. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has indicated that the COVID-19 student vaccine requirement is not likely to go into effect until the start of the next school year (August 2022). The governor’s official press release is available here.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding the state’s planned COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Are LMSV students currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
No. The governor has announced plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations, however, the plan is dependent on the vaccine receiving full FDA approval. At this time, the only COVID-19 vaccine with full FDA approval is limited to ages 16 and older.
Do any of the current COVID-19 vaccines have full FDA approval for elementary school-aged children?
Not at this time. While one COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency authorization for children ages 5 and up, the only vaccine with full FDA approval is limited to ages 16 and older.
When will the COVID-19 vaccine requirement go into effect?
According to the press release, the requirement would take effect in the school term that follows full FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for the applicable age group. If a vaccine receives full approval for elementary school-aged children before July 2022, the vaccine requirement would go into effect in the 2022-2023 school year (August 2022) for the applicable age ranges.
Example: If a vaccine receives full FDA approval for children ages 12 and up, but not for children ages 5 to 11, the vaccine would be required for students ages 12 and up only.
When the COVID-19 vaccine requirement goes into effect, will it apply to private schools and charter schools?
Yes. All schools in the State of California (public, private, and charter) are required by law to adhere to state health and safety code requirements, laws, executive orders, and regulations, including student vaccination requirements.
Does the school district plan to implement its own COVID-19 vaccine mandate (ahead of the state)?
No. As with all other health regulations, we will simply adhere to statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandates and timelines as required.
Will parents have the option to obtain a personal belief and/or religious exemption that would allow their children to attend school in person without receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
If the COVID-19 vaccine is added to the required student vaccine list, it is not clear whether personal belief and/or religious exemptions would be allowed. It depends on whether a vaccine mandate is enacted by executive order or legislation. We will provide as much flexibility as the law permits.
Will LMSV provide learning options for families opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate?
Yes. We will continue to provide home school and online learning options through our popular Trust Blended Learning program. Families who are interested in Trust are encouraged to reach out for more information.
Will school employees be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Currently, school employees who are not fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis. According to the governor’s press release, school employees will be required to be vaccinated when the vaccine mandate goes into effect for school-aged children.
Has the school district taken a position on the state’s planned COVID-19 vaccine requirement?
The district has not taken a position on this issue. Regardless of any individual opinions, as school district employees and elected officials, we are obligated to uphold state and federal law. We recommend that concerned parents speak with a trusted health professional about the COVID-19 vaccine.
If enough parents are opposed to the vaccine mandate, will the school district refuse to follow the state order?
No. Elected school board members, district administrators, principals, teachers, and all other school employees must adhere to state law. School districts do not have jurisdiction over statewide vaccine requirements. If you would like to provide input about the proposed mandate, we recommend that you contact the California Department of Public Health, the governor’s office, or your local state representative.
Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccines?
Below are links to the agencies responsible for vaccine implementation at the county, state, and federal level.