ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord
A Message from the Superintendent...
Dear Members of the Alvord Community,
Over the last couple of months I have consistently communicated our intentions to fully reopen our schools with the highest standard of care when we begin the 2021-22 school year on Friday, August 6. The feedback I have received related to that high standard has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for the feedback and input. It's important to us to be trusted with the safety and education of your children, and it's a privilege to serve.
In addition to the positive feedback, we have also heard some concerns expressed, mostly regarding masks, since the CDPH announced that masks are mandated for all students and staff, while indoors. I recognize that the indoor masking mandate does not sit well with 100% of our stakeholders. I have respectfully listened to those concerns. I understand the nature of the positions and the frustrations that have been shared with me or expressed on social media. On behalf of the Board of Education, we strongly support and celebrate everyone's right to their beliefs and perspectives. Our decision to strictly adhere to CDPH guidelines and impose the absolute highest standard of care is in no way dismissive of opposing viewpoints.
The decision and direction to mandate face coverings for all staff and students was a decision made by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), not by the Alvord Unified School District. I have suggested to anyone objecting to the mandate to direct their advocacy and acts of protest to state officials and lawmakers. We are held accountable for implementing and enforcing the CDPH mandate.
While a school district, through the school board, has broad permissive authority under Section 35160 of the Education Code, the district and board must act in a manner which is not in conflict or inconsistent with any law. Failure to follow the directives can be enforced as a criminal offense. Furthermore, if a school district takes action to forgo CDPH requirements it may present liability issues for individual board members, as well as any applicable district staff, for willfully neglecting to obey a lawful order issued under the California Emergency Services Act. Additionally, there could also be insurance issues with likely exclusions from insurance coverage, which puts the district in a very risky and vulnerable position that could significantly impact its budget.
CDPH intends to revisit the mask mandate by no later than November 1, 2021. At that point in time we will reconsider our position, depending upon any changes in the law.
See the 2021-22 school year Q & A in the News section below for all of the answers to your frequently asked questions. And stay current by frequently visiting the 2021-22 information homepage here. To submit a comment or ask a question, follow this link to a google form and let your voice be heard.
Home-Based Program Survey Update...
The survey closed last Sunday. About 500 students have either signed up for the home-based learning option or are seriously considering it. Learn more about the home-based learning option by viewing the following videos or by visiting our Home-Based Learning information page on our website here. Students in the home-based program work independently with teacher support utilizing the computer-based program Edgenuity for 6-12 students and Accelerate for K-5 students. If you are new to our district this week, missed the survey deadline, or have had a change of heart or a change in your living conditions and want to reconsider, please contact your principal immediately.
Next Registration and Data Confirmation Workshop Wednesday, July 28...
Sign Up for Our Expanded Learning 2021-22 After School Program...
When we return for the 2021-22 school year on August 6, 2021, our two after-school programs, HALF-Time (K-5) and PRIME-Time (6-8), will be available M-F from school dismissal until 6:00 PM. The program 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.
Have your e-mail address available
Have your child's 7-digit Student ID Number ready
Make sure all your contacts are up-to-date in AERIES© Parent Portal
Enrollment Confirmations will be sent to your e-mail and phone number listed in AERIES.
The HALF-Time program is available at the following schools:
- La Granada
- Myra Linn
- Valley View
The PRIME-Time program is available at all four middle schools. For additional information please visit the Expanding Learning web site here.
Family Engagement Office Kicks-off 2021-22 with Hybrid Workshop on August 10....
Join our family engagement coordinator Dr. Cisneros and educational psychologist Jessika Shields to learn how to support your child's transition back to school. Learn how to recognize signs of stress and anxiety in your child and how to emotionally support your child through transitions. Choose to attend in-person (seating limited) or via Zoom.
Our Family Engagement Office Wants to Hear From You...
On behalf of the Board of Education and our entire team, we are excited to bring our students back to school, in-person and full time. We certainly hope that our students will be joining us in-person, but if not, we are fully prepared to support our distance-learning students too.
First day of school is on Friday, August 6.
Stay positive. Stay safe. Be well.
Ms. Lizeth Vega, President
TRUSTEE AREA 2
Norte Vista 9-12
Child Nutrition Services
Dr. Joanna Dorado, Vice President
TRUSTEE AREA 1
La Granada K-5
Valley View K-5
Loma Vista 6-8
Alternative Ed Center
BOARD MEETINGS IN-PERSON
August 19, 2021 (Regular)
September 2, 2021 (Regular)
September 16, 2021 (Regular)
More details here on Agenda On-Line
Q: Will school be fully in-person, five days a week, when the 2021-22 school year begins on August 6?
Q: Has the CDPH released its guidance for the 2021-22 school year?
A: Yes. On July 12, 2021. Find the guidance here.
Q: Will students have to get their temperature taken to enter campus when school begins on August 6?
A: No. Parents are required to conduct a daily self-check of their children, If a child has a fever, chills, cough or other common symptoms, parent are expected to not send their child to school. It is recommended any student exhibiting symptoms be COVID-19 tested.
Q: Will masks be required for K-12 students indoors when school begins on August 6?
Q: Will masks be required for K-12 students outdoors when school begins on August 6?
A: No. They are optional.
Q: Will masks be required for K-12 staff indoors when school begins on August 6?
Q: Will masks be required for K-12 staff outdoors when school begins on August 6?
A: No. They are optional.
Q: What if a student or staff member has a medical condition and is exempt from wearing a mask?
A: The student or staff member must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
Q: Are schools required to enforce the mask requirements?
Q: What if a child refuses to wear a mask indoors?
A: Students will be offered our distance learning program.
Q: What safety measures will be in place?
A: No less than the following safety measures will be in place:
- face covering indoors
- air scrubbers in every space
- improved ventilation
- respiratory and hand hygiene/cough etiquette taught
- desk shields and barriers (at least until November 1 and updated guidance)
- daily sanitization of spaces and high-frequency touch-points
- staying home when sick and getting tested promotion
- contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation
- physical distancing, when possible and appropriate
Q: Will there be COVID-19 testing available for students and staff?
A: Yes. It will be voluntary. We participate in the CDPH-sponsored testing program for both PCR and antigen testing. Schools will provide details.
Q: Will there be sports and performing arts events?
A: Yes. Regarding sports, we await guidelines from the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS), the governing body for high school athletics. Regarding performing arts such as marching band, choir and theater, we will follow CDPH guidelines for events.
Q: Will spectators be able to attend indoor events?
A: Yes. Spectators will be required to follow all indoor face-covering and other safety measures.
Q: Will student-athletes have to COVID-19 test?
A: Yes. We expect that participants in competitions will be required to antigen test, which provides results within 15-20 minutes. But we await official guidance on exactly what procedures will be required.
Q: If students take a school trip off school campus to an indoors location, do vaccinated students need to wear a mask indoors if the location they are visiting does not require vaccinated people to wear masks?|
A: If students are participating in a school event or being supervised by school staff, face mask guidance for K-12 settings must be followed regardless of location.
Q: Do fully vaccinated teachers and staff need to wear masks in school buildings if school is out for the summer and students are not in the building?
A: For district staff in administrative buildings or for teachers on campus when student programs are not in session and students are not in the building, masking guidance is governed by current Cal/OSHA requirements. A district may use any of the options for masking that are provided to businesses to guide masking policies for anyone from the general public who may be entering the District Offices or coming on-campus when student programs are not in session.
Q: Is the State's requirement and Riverside County's requirement the same?
A: Yes. Riverside public health officials confirmed that children and staff do not need to wear a mask outside because we are not an area of high transmission, but must follow all State guidelines indoors.
Q: What is the home-based option for families choose who are unable to attend school in-person?
A: Yes. Principals surveyed their families during the week of July 12. a home-based learning model. If you are new to our district this week, missed the survey deadline, or have had a change of heart or a change in your living conditions and want to reconsider, please contact your principal immediately.
Q: What will the home-based learning option be in 2021-22?
A: Unlike last year, when thousands of students learned from home, the home-based option in 2021-22 will rely primarily on an independent study model, utilizing Edgenuity™ for 6-12 students and Accelerate™ for K-5 students.
Q: What is Edgenuity™ and Accelerate™?
A: Both are computer-based, user-friendly learning management systems that structure and monitor learning. Students are assigned to an Alvord Unified School District teacher who monitors attendance and progress, but does not directly teach on a daily basis.
Q: Regarding home-based learning, what if my child has an IEP or is an English language learner?
A: Learning from home is not ideal for many students. Principals, counselors, and IEP teams will discuss each case on an individual basis to determine the best course of action for any family requesting the home-based learning model.
Q: What if I plan for my child to attend in-person but change my mind if face covering restrictions, or other requirements that I disagree with, are mandated when school starts?
A: The option of a virtual program will always be available. After all, conditions and circumstances for families change. But for staffing and learning continuity purposes, we will ask families to make a commitment of no less than a semester in the virtual program, although special circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Attending to the physically and emotionally safe return of all students to classrooms is our priority. We are designing for that safe return by bolstering support services and strictly adhering to safety guidelines to ensure that our students have a sense of belonging and feel safe. Given the mental health and trauma that many students, families, and educators have faced these past 15 months, we believe in-person school provides us with the best opportunity to provide the guidance, support, and resources necessary to accelerate learning, recover learning loss, provide social and emotional support, and intervene when students are struggling academically or emotionally.
With that being said, we also have prioritized choice by providing alternatives to in-person instruction in the event conditions change related to COVID or related to family circumstances. We are confident that regardless of the model chosen, we will be prepared to meet the needs of each and every student.
Our home-based program utilizes Edgenuity™ and Accelerate™ to deliver curriculum and instruction. Both programs are computer-based, user-friendly learning management systems that structure and monitor learning. While students are assigned to a certificated Alvord Unified School District teacher, the teacher simply monitors attendance and progress. The teacher does not directly teach the curriculum. The Edgenuity courses provide direct-instruction videos featuring expert, on-screen teachers. The Accelerate courses provide direct-instruction audio featuring expert, on-screen teachers. Both computer-based programs also provides rigorous assignments, performance tasks, and assessments to engage students and ensure subject-area mastery.
Visit the Edgenuity Video Library here for a series of videos on the advantages of Edgenuity. For the K-5 Accelerate program, visit their website here for additional information. Following are key elements of the program. Contact your principal for additional details:
- Students learn from home and do not attend school in-person;
- Students continue to be active members of the student body at their home school.
- Students utilize an age-appropriate computer-based leaning program that uses a combination of animations, video-led direct instruction, relevant websites, and activities to support the curriculum;
- Modification and accommodations will be made for English learners, students in foster care or other high-needs groups;
- Students are provided with a Chromebook and an Internet connection, if needed;
- Students in grades' 6-12 use Edgenuity;
- Students in grades' K-5 use Accelerate;
- A parent or guardian is responsible for student progress;
- Parent is responsible for ensuring student engages in learning platform for designated time per day;
- Students are assigned to an Alvord teacher, however;
- The Alvord teacher does not teach the curriculum;
- The Alvord teacher utilizes the Google classroom to meet with students at the conclusion of each school day for an "office hour" to record daily attendance and to ensure progress is being made;
- The Alvord teacher supports the student and parent;
- Instructional minutes are the same as they are for in-person instruction:
• Kindergarten: 200 minutes;
• Grades 1-3: 280 minutes;
• Grades 4-8: 300 minutes;
• Grades 9-12: 360 minutes;
- Meals are made available for pick-up for students in the home-based program;
- Students may transition back into in-person instruction within five days of declaring they no longer choose to participate in the home-based program;
- For high school students, access to all courses offered for graduation and approved by the University of California or the California State University are made available.
Our home-based program meets the requirements of Senate Bill 130, which was recently enacted to ensure students have an alternative to in-person instruction.
Child Care for Essential Workers