Pictures, Video, Links, & Sound Bites to Keep You Informed

A Message From The Superintendent

June 14, 2020

What's changed since last week's message?

What can we expect this coming week?


First, what's changed since last week?

The California Department of Education (CDE) released its official guidance for reopening schools on Monday, June 8. In the introduction, in bold print, CDE wrote: The intent of this document is to be a guide for local discussion on reopening schools. They go on to say that the the guidebook is not a “one-size-fits-all” document. It's designed to honor the varied local contexts of school districts. They also write that the document is a work in progress. It may be updated as new data becomes relevant. Click on the image below to see the entire document. See the web version here to choose to read it in Spanish or other languages.

School districts have two primary tasks while planning reopening:

  1. Design high-quality and equitable instructional practices for all learners.
  2. Arrange students and staff in ways that facilitate physical distancing guidelines.

There are many scheduling options being considered by school districts. Most revolve around rotating students for in-person instruction so that only half the students are on campus at any given time to improve the ability of schools to socially-distance students and staff. The CDE provides a few examples of options that may be considered, but is clear that school districts are expected to work closely with their entire school community (i.e. students, families, employee groups, public health officials, city and county officials, etc...) to address local needs and create a model that best serves its families and its community.

See four examples of different models provided in the document here. But know that there are many models being considered by school districts. It's also important to understand that districts may start the school year with one instructional schedule model and, as new information becomes available about health and safety, may be forced to transition to a different model. Flexibility and adaptability are planning priorities. To reopen schools, only to have to close them again in the event of another public health emergency, would further disrupt the education process and set students back even further, particularly students who have suffered disproportionately due to the first closure in March. Our Task Force continues to engage our education partners and staff in collaboratively making the best decision for Alvord. Since many of our families and staff live or work in neighboring communities, we are also working with our local districts to provide as much consistency as possible. See my May 24 message here for details on the Task Force. By June 30, I expect we will have preliminary details to share.

In addition to guidance from the State and a variety of medical experts and public health officials, we are relying on input from our students and their families, and our staff. As of today, 1,865 (16%) of our families have completed the survey so far. Regarding the question that asks which model our families prefer, here are the results:

In thinking about return to school scheduling there are many options being considered for how students will be scheduled. Which makes the most sense to you and your family?

  • Regular class schedule, Monday through Friday, as before the pandemic (48%)
  • Fully online distance learning (16%)
  • Blended model, with some days/times in person and other days/times learning online (36%)

If you have not completed the survey yet, please do so today. The larger the sample, the more accurate the data. Please click on the image below in English or Spanish to take the survey. We want to know your plans. All of the data collected from the survey is confidential and helps us plan for staffing and other important reopening functions. Thanks in advance for taking the time to complete it today.

Also released this past week was a statement about high school athletics from California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIFSS) Commissioner Rob Wigod. He wrote that CIFSS is totally committed to support Fall, Winter, and Spring sports in 2020-21. Click on the image below to read his entire statement. See the podcast featuring Mr. Wigod in a section below in the newsletter for an in-depth discussion about high school athletics in the COVID era.

The Commissioner's comments followed a statement regarding 2020 Fall sports released by the State of California Interscholastic Federation that oversees all ten sections. They announced that as school districts begin planning for the reopening of school, the CIF, in collaboration with each local section, will determine by July 20 if Fall Sports will continue as currently scheduled. The CIF is prepared to offer alternative calendars if it is determined by July 20 that Fall sports may not start as scheduled due to ongoing public health and safety concerns. Click on the image below to read the entire CIF State statement.

In anticipation of our student-athletes return to physical activity, the CIF also provided the following resources to assist our member schools and student-athletes:

CIF Return to Physical Activity/Training Guidelines
This document is intended to provide guidance for CIF member schools to consider with their stakeholders in designing return-to-activity protocols in accordance with state and county restrictions.

Physical Examination Waiver
This waiver will allow the student-athlete to participate in athletics for a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days from their school's first day of practice in that sport. This waiver only applies to CIF sanctioned Fall 2020 sports.

Financial Hardship Waiver
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus a waiver of Bylaw 207 may be granted for a student who transfers to a new school during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year when there is a demonstrated and verifiable hardship condition due to financial difficulties.

Our high school Principals and Athletic Directors will notify student-athletes and their families of summer training plans to safely begin bringing students back on campus as soon as possible, as we all await the release of the 2020-21 sports year calendar on or before July 20. I will use this space to keep our student-athletes and their families updated.


What can we expect this coming week?

Tomorrow, June 15, the California Legislature will vote to satisfy their legal requirement to send a balanced budget to the governor. Negotiations between legislative leaders and the Governor will then intensify in coming days in order to ratify a budget by July 1, the start of the next fiscal year. It's premature to act too quickly given the uncertainty revolving around a final budget. Stay tuned to this space for details as a budget is finalized.

On June 19, The RIverside County Department of Education (RCOE) releases its reopening school guidance. Alvord was among the districts in Riverside County that participated on the Reopening Schools Task Force, which included members of our management team, a parent representative, two students, and members of our certificated and classified employee associations. Our Alvord Task Force will have the RCOE guidance when they meet in the coming weeks to plan 2020-21. I will provide an update on the Task Force in this space next week, as well as update the survey results. Again, please take the survey.

In closing, thanks for staying current by reading my weekly message. On behalf of the Board of Education, it's a privilege to serve our students and their families, and our community. We eagerly await your input and we deeply appreciate your support.

Stay healthy. Be well.

In partnership.

Allan Mucerino

Alvord Community Update April 29th, 2020

Summer school, 2020-21 plans, and other sections updated. This link opens in this window. Click back tab to return to the e-newsletter


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