The city council is scheduled this week to consider backing the Apple Valley Unified School District (AVUSD) resolution opposing state mandates related to COVID-19.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, according to the agenda documents, the city council could also determine that they are not empowered to take action or direct staff in alternative directions.
At a special meeting in October, AVUSD’s Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution stating that the district would not implement vaccination requirements for students or staff if imposed by local health officials or the California Department of Public Health ( CDPH).
Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the health department on Oct. 1 to demand a COVID-19 vaccination for all K-12 students. The requirement will go into effect upon full FDA approval of that grade, either Jan. 1 or July 1, state officials said.
The governor’s directive also includes a vaccination requirement for all K-12 school employees. A CDPH announcement in August instructed school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once a week.
California can now vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 after the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup signed Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children on Nov. 2, according to EdSource.
The group reviewed the federal trial and unanimously concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11. The group’s approval was the final step needed to begin administering the vaccine to children of that age group.
The CDC also approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children in that age group on Nov. 2.
Some school districts are encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated, but so far it doesn’t appear that any districts — except Culver City Unified — need it, according to EdSource on Thursday.
Monday morning, the Hesperia Unified School District (HUSD) had failed to follow AVUSD’s lead in opposing the mandates, despite public outcry from parents and elected officials.
Last month, the Hesperia City Council asked HUSD to take action when they passed a resolution against state-issued COVID-19 mandates for students, teachers and other school staff.
HUSD’s Board of Trustees was set to meet Monday at 4 p.m. to discuss a resolution calling on the CDPH to review its face-covering guidelines.
Standing Rock Road
Back in Apple Valley, the city council on Tuesday will also consider approving the purchase of an empty residential lot located on northern Outer Highway 18 for the realignment of Standing Rock Road.
The project, located near Church of the Valley, would result in the removal of part of the outer highway and the creation of a special right-hand turn for westbound traffic.
The project also includes upgrading the existing traffic light at Dale Evans Parkway and the construction of a new traffic light at the new intersection that will connect Highway 18 and Standing Rock Road.
The cost of approximately $89,000 would come from a transfer of funds from the city’s 2021-22 fiscal year to the Standing Rock Road realignment project.
New historical monument?
The city council will hold a public hearing Tuesday to discuss whether to add the property of the Victor Valley Animal Protective League (VVAPL) to the city’s list of historic landmarks.
The Historical Advisory Committee of the municipality proposes to add the VVAPL as a place of interest via the Historical Landmarks and Places of Interest program.
VVAPL has registered to participate in the program and, according to the municipality, met the criteria for a listing. The historic commission unanimously approved the application in July.
In 1960, Newton T. Bass’s Apple Valley Foundation donated 5 acres at the corner of the Zuni and Navajo roads to establish Victor Valley’s first animal shelter, which opened in April 1962.
Today, VVAPL is the contracted animal shelter for Adelanto and Victorville, while Apple Valley and Hesperia have their own shelters.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Apple Valley City Hall, Dale Evans Parkway 14955. The meeting can also be viewed online at www.AppleValley.org.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, city council meeting occupancy rates are capped at 50% on a first-come, first-served basis.
Public comments may be delivered to the meeting or emailed by 12:00 PM on the day of the meeting to [email protected]
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.