ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord

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A Message from the Superintendent...

Dear Members of the Alvord Community,


Last week marked a record high for California’s 7-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases. Riverside County's rate of 123.3 cases per 100K (7-day average) was slightly lower than the State's 7-day average of 124.5 cases.


Across the state and nation, the increase of cases has caused a breakdown in essential services due to employee shortages and other issues that have compromised day-to-day operations. School employees are among the essential workforces that have been hit hard by this latest surge of infections sweeping the region, state, and nation. We lost about 25% of our workforce to COVID-related absences this past week and anticipate about the same this coming week. Absences due to quarantine protocols can last anywhere from five to ten days.


As I have reported in my weekly messages, it's difficult to find substitutes willing to work during a pandemic. Our principals and school teams have done an incredible job covering all of the teaching assignments and other responsibilities that are necessary to keep their students learning, safe, and fed; and their campuses clean and high-functioning. But it comes at a cost as more people are doing double and triple duty and consequently increasing their exposure and burning themselves out.


Our COVID Call Center received 750 calls this week (in December we averaged 100-150/week), ranging from reporting positive cases to quarantine protocols. It took the entire week to sort everything out and confirm all cases. Our Dashboard has now been updated to reflect our current conditions. Thank you in advance for being patient as we do everything within our power to protect our students and employees during this latest COVID surge. On the bright side, public health officials are confident this surge will crest soon and quickly trend in the other direction. In the meantime, we cannot let our guard down. I'm confident that if we continue to work together and focus on prevention we can keep our schools safe and open.

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When Will We Close a School ?

We will close a school if public health officials determine that keeping the school open poses a substantial risk of school-wide or community spread. That determination would result from identifying and confirming a cluster of cases on a single campus (multiple connected COVID-19 cases that are linked by the same location or event within 14 days, outside of a household). A school could be closed for up to two weeks. What's more likely, however, is that a single classroom or multiple classrooms would have to quarantine for five to ten days while the school remains open for everyone else.


We may also have to temporarily close an entire school for decontamination or when massive contact tracing is necessary due to hundreds of students having been exposed. Or, we may have to temporarily close a school in response to significant absenteeism of staff and our inability to safely keep the school open. If we continue to strictly adhere to our safety measures and effectively manage infections, we can avoid a school closure. Everyone needs to do their part to stop the spread.


We are not alone among essential workforces that are challenged to provide services. Health, police, fire, and other members of the emergency service and infrastructure workforce are all struggling to staff their respective workforces. In addition to staffing shortages, deliveries and supply-chain services have led to shortages of critical products, including COVID-19 home-testing kits. For example, the 13,000 test-kits we secured in anticipation of a holiday surge were delayed and didn't arrive until Monday, January 3. The process of organizing and distributing them was slowed down by a staffing-shortage. We were able to get them to schools starting Tuesday and throughout the week as we assembled school bundles of tests on a daily basis. Again, your patience is appreciated. There are lots of things that are not in our control even though we are factoring those variables into our decision-making processes.


On Wednesday, we received slightly less than half of our State allocation of tests (17,340) and are in the process of preparing to distribute them this week to ensure schools have a sufficient amount of tests on hand. All students who are identified in the contact-tracing process are provided a test. Any student who has symptoms or was exposed to a confirmed positive case in the home or community may also obtain a test. Communicate with your school's administration if you have any questions.


We realize that a student can test negative on Monday and be infectious on Tuesday. That's why testing is simply one strategy to stop the spread. Prevention remains the best and most effective strategy. Among them, good hand-hygiene and respiratory etiquette, plus well-fitting masks are essential. The most effective prevention strategy is to stay home and quarantine with symptoms or if a member of the household has tested positive or has symptoms. The Governor has proposed more funding in the immediate future to provide more home-testing kits to schools. It would be ideal if every student can test weekly, irregardless of symptoms. But that's not our current reality. Our focus remains on prevention, mitigation, and response.


Another effective strategy is cleanliness and disinfection. We continue to prioritize the cleaning of high-touch surfaces and daily disinfecting on every campus. Given staffing shortages, we have retained a custodial service to ensure we have sufficient custodial coverage and are able to disinfect every day using the powerful electrostatic sprayer and the Clorox Total 360 System.


We also continue to weekly test athletes, band, choir, and other students who are at a higher risk of transmission. We are also temporarily limiting attendance at indoor athletic events to mitigate community spread. School administrators, directors, and coaches/teachers are communicating those attendance and safety policies to families. If you do plan to watch your student-athlete or artist perform, plan on wearing a mask 100% of the time and not eating or drinking inside the venue.


We have been in the process of setting up mobile testing sites after school hours on some of our campuses to provide rapid and/or PCR testing for the neighboring community. Once we secure a contract we will announce locations and times.


Please continue to contact the COVID Call Center with your questions. The high volume of calls may cause a delay in our response, but we will respond as soon as possible.

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Second Semester Family Engagement Workshops Begin This Tuesday, January 11...

For more information about our family engagement workshops or how you can become more involved in your children's education, please contact our Family Engagement Coordinator, Alejandro Cisneros. Click here to schedule a virtual meeting. Or call 951-396-0126. Or Email alejandro.cisneros@alvordschools.org. Visit our Family Engagement Home Page.
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Total Positive Cases this week:


  • 103 students (up from 28 the week before the break and 42 the prior week). Another 253 students tested positive over the winter recess but did not attend school this past week.
  • 53 staff members (up from 5 the week before the break and 8 the prior week). This only reflects staff who were present this past week.


Students Identified Through Contact Tracing:


  • 1,270 students were identified as having had close contact at school this past week.
  • 310 students were assigned modified quarantine (which means they can continue to attend school in-person as long as they don't develop symptoms and test twice weekly for two weeks)
  • 1,060 students were assigned full quarantine (home for at least 10 days). But most of these students never attended school school this week because of a positive test over winter recess.


Overall, as of Friday, January 7, including the first semester, we have had 184 staff members and 869 students report a positive test for COVID-19. Stay current with our case rate by regularly tracking our COVID-19 Data Dashboard and FAQ here. Cases recorded on the Dashboard are confirmed by Riverside County Public Health officials and remain on the Dashboard for 14 days.


This past week in Riverside County, there were 7,338 new cases (1.8% increase), equating to 123.3 cases per 100K (7-day average), 33 new deaths (0.6% increase), and a 30.1% test positivity (7-day rate), which is a 6.3% increase from the previous week.


There are currently 791 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, 19 more patients hospitalized from the prior day total (2.5% increase). This data is as of January 9, 2022, as reported on the State's tracking web site.

In Closing....

On behalf of your Board of Education, thank you in advance for doing your part to prevent the spread during this current surge. Please know that we are doing everything in our power to keep our students, employees, and community safe and our schools open by closely monitoring case rates, working closely with public health officials, and enforcing school safety measures.


Together we can overcome this latest pandemic challenge as we have all of the many challenges that have come before it.


Be well. Test Weekly. Stay healthy.


Sincerely,


Allan Mucerino

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Care Space Provides Mental Health Services

Contact the Riverside County Department of Education Care Space team at 951-276-CARE (2273) or visit their web site here to learn more about the no-cost services they offer all students and their families.

Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Registration

We are expanding TK/K beginning in 2022-23. Learn more about the programs on our web site here or by contacting officials from our elementary school team via email here or by phone 951 509 5036.

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We're Hiring - Join our Family - Click & Apply

We need substitute teachers too.

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Donate to the Alvord Education Foundation Here

AEF relies on the the support of its donors to provide classroom enrichment grants to teachers and college scholarships to students.

Learn More About ParentSquare

ParentSquare is an on-line social media platform to enhance school-home communications

ParentSquare 3 Minute Overview
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See Frequently Asked Questions About Safely Reopening

Visit the FAQ home page for the most current information.

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Key Elements of 2021-22 Home-Based Learning Program...

Click here to learn more about home-based learning.

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Sign Up for Our Expanded Learning 2021-22 After School Program...

Our two after-school programs are HALF-Time (K-5) and PRIME-Time (6-8). They are available M-F from school dismissal until 6:00 PM. The programs provide FREE academic support, homework assistance and enrichment activities like art, crafts, music, sports and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) along with a nutritious meal. Please register your Kindergarten through 8th grade students soon as space is limited. Sign up here in English and here in Spanish.

Find the COVID-19 Data Dashboard & FAQ Here

Stay Current by Tracking the Alvord Data Dashboard

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Covid Close Contact Procedures
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Procedimientos de Contacto Cerrado de COVID19
Covid19 Antigen Test Instructional Video
Video instructivo de la prueba de antígeno Covid-19
VACCINATION Q & A

For more questions and answers about COVID-19 visit our COVID-19 Data DashBoard and FAQ

New Changes in 2019 20 School Immunization Requirements
Riverside County Public Health COVID-19 News

Click here for COVID-19 Updates from Riverside County Public Health

RUHS Public Health Vaccine Update Eng 11-18-2021.mp4
DONATE TO ALVORD CARES

ALVORD CARES is committed to support Alvord families suffering from food-insecurity, home-insecurity, or who may be struggling as a result of unemployment or other adverse circumstances.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOPS

View the Family Engagement Home Page Here for the Latest Workshops

GOOGLE CLASSROOM AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

For more details click above to visit the FAQ and choose Just Technology.

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SEE WHAT'S NEW ON PEACHJAR

We use Peachjar's digital flyer management solution to deliver important school and community resources to our students and their families.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SCHOOL DIRECTORY

Find contact information and connect to each school's web site

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Have a Question? Submit It Here With Today's Date

Click on the button above to submit a question or make a comment to Superintendent Mucerino on Google forms. It's anonymous. Your questions will be answered in the FAQ