THE ALVORD USD ROUND-UP 5.10.20

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

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A Message from the Superintendent

May 10, 2020


Dear Alvord Families,


As you probably know, on Friday, May 8, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors took action to rescind most local health orders, deferring to the Governor's statewide stay at home order. While they also voted to keep local school closure orders in place through June 19, in light of the other developments I am happy to report that later this week we will announce a curbside “Drive-Through, No Contact Graduation” for our Class of 2020, held over a series of days during the last week of the school year, at each of our high schools. The event will be highly structured to protect the health and safety of our students, families, and staff as well as comply with Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders and Resilience Roadmap. Find details in the weekly Seniorbrations section below.


Nothing can replace a formal graduation ceremony. The Board of Education remains committed to holding a customary in-person ceremony for each high school. Based on the guidance we have received thus far about the State's Resilience Roadmap, an event of that magnitude would not be approved until Phase 4. We intend to propose a tentative date for the formal graduation events once public officials establish a timeline for the phasing of the Roadmap. But we also realize that even the most well intentioned timeline will be driven by COVID19.


All of our annual year-end closure procedures will be modified to comply with the State's Executive Orders, the Resilience Roadmap, and AUSD Board Policies related to non-instructional operations, environmental safety, risk management, and infectious diseases. We will continue to require face coverings and a minimum of 6-foot distancing for all interactions. All interactions will also be drive-through to the extent we can complete the procedure.


Here's a rundown of what you can expect between now and the last day of school on May 28, by school level:

Elementary Schools:

Principals will directly communicate via email, voice messages, and social media regarding the following:


  • Essential student materials left behind
  • Yearbook, Spring Pictures pick-up
  • Virtual end-of-year award celebrations
  • Summer School interest survey for Math, English Language Arts, and Arts enrichment
  • Guidelines for students to remain engaged during the summer months


Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten registration will be online starting June 12th. Kindergarten - 5th grade (for returning students) 2020-2021 data confirmation will be online starting June 12th. More details on registration here.


Middle Schools:

Principals will directly communicate via email, voice messages, and social media regarding the following:


  • One-time student check-out w/ teacher volunteers and fanfare for 8th graders
  • Promotion certificates distribution
  • Yearbook, Spring Pictures pick-up
  • Essential student materials left behind
  • Summer school sign-up


High Schools:

Principals and Activity Directors will directly communicate via email, voice messages, and social media regarding the following:


  • Uniforms, textbooks, other materials return*
  • Essential student materials left behind
  • Cap, Gown, Yearbook and Diploma pick-up
  • Virtual graduation ceremony instructions
  • Curbside "Drive-Through, No Contact Graduation" instructions

*Seniors only and others who are leaving the area and do not expect to return to the same school next year.


As far as our plans for 2020-21. As I reported in last week's message, we are planning to prepare our schools and staff to reopen on August 10, as scheduled (see 2020-21 calendar here). Preparing our schools includes sanitizing the campuses using innovative electrostatic spray technology (see a brief video on the Total 360® System below in the newsletter). Reopening schools will be done in compliance with the State's Resilience Roadmap and the above-mentioned District policies, and in collaboration with our employee associations.


Stay tuned as the discussion continues and deepens as we transition from 2019-20 to 2020-21. Distant learning summer school begins on June 1 (see more on summer school here). Depending on the direction of the State’s and County’s response to COVID in the next couple of weeks, as well as the State's revised budget released on May 14, we will consider a variety of additional summer school opportunities within our means to further remediate for learning loss and prepare students for next year.


Happy Mother's Day!


Stay healthy. Be well.


In partnership,


Allan Mucerino

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Dear Seniors,


We know that nothing can replace the formal, customary in-person graduation ceremony in front of your family and friends. You have earned it and deserve it. The school district remains committed to providing you with it. But when that event can be held remains uncertain, as you know since an event of that magnitude is in Phase 4 of the State's reopening plan. There is currently no timeline for the State's plan. COVID19 will drive the timeline. For planning purposes, we will identify and announce a date as soon as possible and in accordance with the State's and District's reopening plan.


In the meantime, I am happy to report to you that this coming week your Principal and Activities Director will announce plans for a curbside “Drive Up, No Contact Graduation” event for any senior who chooses to participate. We will also announce a Virtual Graduation, also for seniors who choose to participate. The Drive Up, No Contact Graduation will capture as much of the spirit, heart, and soul of a customary graduation celebration as is humanly possible given the restrictions imposed in the interests of the public's health. There will be an official printed program, your name will be announced, you will walk across a decorated stage, your picture will be taken with your diploma by a professional photographer, all to the familiar sound of traditional graduation music. Families are encouraged to capture the moment in video from their cars. You will receive instructions from your school.


Again, we all realize this is not a substitute for a customary ceremony. But for students who choose to participate it's one more way to celebrate this benchmark occasion in your life. Recall that shortly after schools were closed and it became clear that there would be no formal graduation ceremony, at least until well after the school year ends and you all go your separate ways, we conducted a Thought Exchange to hear your voices. Almost 45% of seniors participated - a total of 587 students in all. The top thoughts all revolved around one common theme: A traditional graduation ceremony when the time comes that it's safe to do so. Below is the top-ranked thought of the 342 thoughts submitted. It perfectly captured the theme of senior responses:


"I understand that we are going through a hard time, if or when the time comes of being able to be in large groups then we as Seniors should be able to Have our graduation Ceremony. We deserve to be able to celebrate our hard work and make our teachers and family proud."


Below is a WordCloud of the exchange thoughts:

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The seventh highest-ranked thought captured senior sentiment related to the concept of a virtual ceremony.


"I would really like to have a traditional graduation shortly after the ban of large gatherings has been lifted. It is something I have been looking forward to and would be saddened to see it demeaned by doing something online through zoom or minecraft."


We followed up the ThoughtExchange with a Senior survey this past week. Of our approximately 1,400 seniors, 435 participated in the survey. Again, the sentiments made it clear that a virtual ceremony is not very popular. See below:

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But the survey also revealed that only 85% of the Class of 2020 would return for a graduation event if it's held at a later date.

Then why are we planning on a virtual ceremony too? Since we conducted the ThoughtExchange, it has become evident that a graduation ceremony cannot be held until long after graduation. A virtual ceremony is the safest way to celebrate the entire class while it's still together before everyone goes their separate ways. Besides, it's voluntary. Students who choose not to participate will still be in the official printed program and the virtual program and will be represented by their senior picture. The ceremony will be streamed over YouTube sometime in mid-June. It will include graduation speeches and many of the other elements of a proper graduation that can be produced virtually. Principals and Activities Directors will provide details on the ways students can participate in the virtual ceremony (i.e. submit a video, senior picture, footage/pictures from Drive-Through celebrations). While you may not be interested in a virtual ceremony at this moment in time, you may feel differently later in your life. I hope you all will participate.


Your schools will provide you with instructions for both the Drive-Through and the Virtual graduation events. The same exact Drive-Through ceremonies will take place at each school over a series of days during the last week of school and will consist of the following parameters to comply with Phase 2 of the State's Resilience Roadmap and Board Policies' 3000, 3514, 3515.2, 3530, and 5141.22, all in place to protect students and the public:


  • Each high school will construct a single riser, adorned with school colors and decorations at a curbside location on campus.
  • Each graduating senior will be assigned a specific day within a time slot based on last name alpha.
  • Upon arrival at the designated location, the graduating senior will exit his/her vehicle. The vehicle must proceed through the drive-through line. Only one graduating senior will be permitted to exit his/her vehicle at a time.
  • When the senior’s name is called, he/she will ascend the riser for a professional photograph. Seniors must arrive in their cap and gown and in their vehicle and bring their diploma and/or diploma case for the photograph.
  • 3 minutes have been allotted per student from exiting their vehicle to reentering their vehicle.
  • The District will provide to the graduating senior an 8 x 10 photograph to commemorate the event.
  • The senior’s family may cheer for, celebrate, record, and photograph the drive-through graduation event from their vehicle. Friends and family members will not be allowed to exit their vehicles.
  • One vehicle per graduate, not to exceed 7 passengers.
  • After the senior’s photograph is taken, he/she will leave the riser and return to his/her vehicle which must promptly exit the drive-through line.

As hard as we try to replace a customary graduation ceremony we will fall well short. But on behalf of the Board of Education and the entire district we hope these events will provide you with the recognition you deserve, given the fact that we are in the midst of an uncontrolled pandemic and struggling as a state and nation to overcome this horrific disease. While providing you with what you've earned and rightly deserve is a high priority for us, your wellbeing takes precedence. We hope you understand.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mucerino, on behalf of the Board of Education.

BANNERS BELOW COURTESY of ALVORD EDUCATION FOUNDATION

AEF is a non-profit, non-political organization formed in 1985 and dedicated to benefiting the students of the Alvord Unified School District. These banners are hanging at each high school. AEF SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION EXTENDED TO MAY 12

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C-STEM Helps Students be Successful in Math
Teaching Math with Coding and Robots
PLAN TO WATCH NEXT WEEK'S PODCAST FEATURING HHS C-STEM

Streaming at 4 pm on Wednesday, May 13 on the AUSD YouTube channel

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WATCH THE PODCAST SEGMENT WITH TANUSHRI JOSEPH

This is an excerpt from the 5.6.20 podcast featuring author and 8th grade Villegas student Tanushri Joseph.

Superintendent's Spotlight: Tanushri Joseph
WATCH THE ONE ON ONE WITH CIF COMMISSIONER ROB WIGOD

This is a 30-minute segment excerpted from the 4.29.20 podcast and focuses on the questions anyone involved in high school athletics is asking about 2020-21.

Superintendent's Spotlight: Commissioner Rob Wigod of CIFSS
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DEEP CLEANING/SANITIZING PLAN TO PREPARE FOR 2020-21

Our plan includes Clorox Total 360. Every building in the district has one.

Clorox® Total 360® for Healthier Schools
2020 CENSUS COUNTS EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATES

School funding. Infrastructure like roads. Support for civil servants and families in need. Census results affect our community every day. Respond online, by phone, or by mail. This link opens in a new window. Return to this tab to continue reading.

SUMMER SCHOOL 2020

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS

VISIT THE DISTANCE LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER

Visit this FAQ page frequently for updated resources. This link opens in this window. Click back tab to return to the e-newsletter.

WE REACHED 50,000 MEALS DISTRIBUTED SINCE SCHOOL CLOSURE: A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR CHILD NUTRITION SERVICES TEAM. OUR HEROES!

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VISIT OUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FORUM HERE

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

YOU MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END

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JUST ONE MORE THING: SUBMIT A "Q" OR COMMENT BELOW

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Have a Question? Or a Comment? Submit Up to Five Here

This link takes you to a google form. Submit your questions and click back tab to return to the e-newsletter