ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord
December 18, 2022
A Message from the Superintendent
Happy holidays! This past week was festive and busy with a variety of seasonal activities and events, including many outstanding musical and dance performances at all of our schools and at our annual December meeting of the Board of Education this past Thursday, where we celebrated the first semester and rang in the holiday season.
Students from Myra Linn Elementary School danced and sang for the Board of Education, staff, and members of the audience who were on hand to commemorate the annual oath of office and school board reorganization. Our commitment to the visual and performing arts was on full display as our students dazzled with their dance moves and artistic superpowers.
Every student deserves a complete and competitive education that includes the arts. Our children are growing up in a culture of innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit and creativity depends on the strength of a world-class education. Experts agree that the arts are a key component to a world-class education. Giving students the space to express themselves creatively gives students a voice and leads to a sense of belonging which leads to greater overall success. Yet, only 1 in 5 California schools provide arts programs on a regular basis to all students.
It's clear the public agrees that the arts in education are important too. This past November, the citizens of California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 28, which approved statutory arts education funding to support building and sustaining arts programs in California's public schools.
Stay tuned to my weekly messages, beginning January 1, 2023, for details on how we plan to strategically prepare for the immediate future in the aftermath of temporary COVID-response funding, shifts in the economy, the umbrella influence of technology, and a dynamic new education landscape. Schools districts that succeed in the post-COVID era will adopt new strategies based on a greater focus on their brand in today's consumer-driven economy revolving around choice. Thank you for choosing Alvord.
BOARD OF EDUCATION WELCOMES MS. GEORGINA RAMIREZ
Please join me in welcoming Ms. Georgina Ramirez to the school board. Ms. Ramirez was sworn in for her first term by Riverside Councilwoman Gaby Plascencia. Ms. Ramiriez replaces Dr. Joanna Dorado, who served from 2018-2022 and chose not to run for re-election.
BOARD OF EDUCATION ANNUAL REORGANIZATION
Mr. Robert D. Schwandt, a three-term member of the Board of Education, will lead the school board in 2023 after being elected President during Thursday's reorganization meeting. Mrs. Carolyn M. Wilson was elected to serve as Vice President. Ms. Georgina Ramirez was elected to serve as Clerk. Along with past-presidents Mrs. Julie A. Moreno and Ms. Lizeth Vega, the Board of Education is poised to ensure the values, beliefs and priorities of our community are reflected in our policies and practices.
MEASURE J PASSES
Measure J, our school facilities improvement general obligation bond on the November 8, 2022 ballot, was certified by the Secretary of State this past Friday. I will include updates about the bond in my weekly message. On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for supporting Measure J and investing in our students and our schools. Learn more about Measure J here.
SUPPORT OUR SLOW THE SPREAD CAMPAIGN
Riverside County's COVID-19 Community Level remained elevated for the second consecutive week. In anticipation of higher COVID-19 rates over the holiday season, we provided all students and staff with testing kits like we did before they left for winter recess. Please test before returning to school on Tuesday, January 3. For details on the campaign and instructions in the event of a positive test, click here.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALUREATE (IB) ALUMNI EXCEL
In my message last week I shared some details about the IB event held at Norte Vista last week. The former students who participated in the event are impressive. Below is a brief bio with some of their accomplishments:
Johana Agredano (IBNV 2022; UCR 2026): Johana is majoring in education and is part of UCR's Campus, Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) program, which works as an intervention and prevention support program at UCR.
Gabriel Astilleros (IBNV 2020; UCR 2024): Gabriel graduated as a valedictorian in 2020. He is studying sociology, Spanish literature and law/society and plans to work in the mental health services field when he graduates.
Alfredo Castro (IBNV 2018; UCSD 2022) Alfredo recently graduated with a degree in molecular and cell biology, studying neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He kept focused on his passions and, at the conclusion of college, accepted a specialist position in the Moasser Lab at the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Jack Collora (IBNV 2013; UCLA 2017; Yale University 2022:) Jack graduated from UCLA with a major in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics and with a minor in biomedical research. Then he went on to Yale University, where he continued following his passion for science and went on to graduate with a PhD in microbiology. He has won a Care Fellowship, a Gruber Science Fellowship, an Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Poster Award for work on lentiviral vectors, three New Investigator Awards to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, and the Uta Von Schwedler prize for retrovirology.
Alejandra Rochford (IBNV 2012; University of New Haven (2015): Alejandra pursued her passion to study forensic sciences and graduated in just three years with a degree in forensic science and a degree in biology. She is currently working as a forensic scientist for the California Department of Justice.
Daisy Savedra (IBNV 2020; CBU 2025): Daisy is pursuing a major in English and a minor in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She is part of CBUs integrated credential program, which allows her to work on her teaching credential while also completing her bachelor’s degree. She hopes to begin her teaching career as soon as the 2024-2025 academic year.
SCHOOL SAFETY WEEKLY UPDATE
Three of our middle school students were hospitalized this past Thursday after eating something laced with marijuana early in the school day. Six other students who ingested the marijuana edibles were treated at the school and released to their parents. Thankfully, the students have all recovered and hopefully a valuable lesson has been learned. But the investigation and disciplinary process will continue. It's illegal to distribute and consume marijuana products on campus. Please discuss the dangers of drug experimentation with your child before it's too late.
This is the final Round-Up and my last message for 2022. Look for the next edition on Sunday, January 1, 2023. Remember, school resumes on Tuesday, January 3, not Monday, January 2, because New Year's Day falls on a Sunday in 2023. The second semester ends on May 25. Here are some important 2023 dates to put on your calendar:
MLK, Jr. Day: 01/16/23
President's Week: 02/13/23 - 02/20/23
Spring Break: 03/27/23 - 03/31/23
Alvord High & Alternative Ed. - May 22, 2022
Hillcrest High School - May 23, 2022
Norte Vista High School - May 24, 2022
La Sierra High School - May 25, 2022
On behalf of the Board of Education, have a safe winter recess and a peaceful and festive holiday season.
Upcoming Regular Meetings of the Board
1/19/23; 2/9/23; 3/9/23
Agendas are posted 72 hours in advance for Regular Meetings of the Board of Education. Find them here. Agendas are posted 24 hours in advance for Special Meetings of the Board of Education.
Public Comments Welcome
Meetings are conducted at KPC Parkway, Corona, CA 92879. The Open Session begins at 6 pm. Members of the public may address the Board for up to three minutes on any topic on the agenda or not on the agenda.
School Data for the week ending Friday, December 16, 2022
Students Reporting a Positive Case: 80 (Last week 87)
Student Cases Requiring Contact Tracing: 66 (Last week 76)
Staff Reporting a Positive Case: 17 (Last week 19)
Riverside County Data COVID-19 Community Level: Medium (last week Medium)
Weekly Metrics Used to Determine the COVID-19 Community Level
Case Rate per 100,000 population: 145.43 (Last Week 180.04)
New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population: 10.3 (Last Week 10.4)
% Staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19: 6.9% (Last Week 5.9%)
Recommended actions based on current level
Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions.