News Briefs | FYI
December 7, 2020
Survey: Employees with student contact should get vaccine first
Teachers and school employees that have the most contact with students should have the highest priority for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new survey from the EdWeek Research Center.
The nationally representative survey of educators revealed that seven in 10 believe that front-line K-12 workers, such as teachers, school nurses and bus drivers, should get the vaccine before other job categories, such as principals and district personnel. The survey was conducted Nov. 18-19 following the release of vaccine clinical trial results from Pfizer and Moderna. It included responses from 913 preK-12 educators, including 298 district leaders, 190 principals and 425 teachers.
California officials have announced that health care workers and first responders, then those in congregate settings will be the first to receive the vaccine this month. There has been no word as of press time on when teachers may get the vaccine.

Most of California subject to ‘purple’ tier COVID restrictions
Citing a spike in California coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom pulled the so-called emergency brake on the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” sending 41 counties back to the most restrictive tier for activities one week before the Thanksgiving break.
Schools that already reopened their sites prior to the Nov. 16 announcement were not forced to close, even though the purple tier does not allow full in-person instruction. Schools that had not already reopened for in-person instruction may not do so until the county moves back to the substantial (red) tier for 14 days, according to the state’s coronavirus website.
“We know how valuable it is for our students to be in the classroom and how important it is to get schools open when it is safe to do so,” said ACSA Executive Director Wes Smith, in a statement to members. “ACSA will continue to advocate for your ability to reopen schools for in-person instruction once you move out of the purple tier, and we expect that to happen this school year.”
While Smith acknowledged this is a “roadblock” to getting students back in the classroom, he said the administration made this decision to flatten the curve, which would make conditions better to allow the reopening of schools in the new year. Even if they are in the purple tier, elementary schools may continue to work with county health departments to obtain waivers to bring students back to their campuses. Schools can also still allow small cohorts of students with the most needs to campus for in-person instruction.
ACSA council, WestEd host online session Dec. 11
Join ACSA’s Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Council and the Region 15 Comprehensive Center housed at WestEd for their first joint community of practice conversation, “Piecing It Together Virtually: Pondering In-Person, Hybrid and Distance Learning Together,” which will be from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. Education professionals from throughout the state will engage in problem solving, sharing best practices, creating professional connections as resources and providing data to inform state-level policy. Any administrator wrestling with these issues is invited to attend — ACSA membership is not required. Visit to register for free. CBEST waiver can help with hiring substitutes Many people seeking substitute teaching permits have been unable to fulfill the requirements because of scheduled CBEST tests being canceled. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is making districts aware of the CBEST waiver option specifically for substitute permits (see pages 18 and 19 of the Waiver Handbook). This is the best solution for affected employers who need to hire subs. It requires the employing district or county to get board approval for the individuals that they will be hiring on a CBEST waiver, but it is renewable up to three times under normal circumstances if an applicant attempts all sections, and passes at least one section of the CBEST. However, the CTC is also re-issuing waivers due to COVID without requiring evidence of passing one subsection of the CBEST, allowing permit holders to renew.
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