ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord

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A Message from the Superintendent...

Dear Members of the Alvord Community,


As we all await Governor Newsom's June 15 announcement lifting capacity and distancing restrictions for some businesses and activities and easing some masking requirement (though schools are expected to still require face covering), it's the perfect time to reflect on how COVID has impacted the lives of our students, staff and community. From economic hardship to serious illness and loss, we learned first hand about the devastating and disproportionate effect of the pandemic on many of our students and their families, and our staff.


We also learned how isolation and social distancing has deepened everyone's appreciation of the many things we may have taken for granted, including school. Students and staff were anxious and excited to resume in-person schooling. I expect that momentum to continue when we resume full in-person instruction when we return for the 2021-22 school year on August 6.


As we anticipate our students' needs and plan to address them in 2021-22, we're focusing our efforts on intervention by increasing academic support as well as social emotional support for all of our students, in all of our schools. The structural support and intervention system is referred to as MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support). MTSS is a system that is designed to align resources to promote students’ academic, behavioral, and social success by systematically identifying and subsequently addressing student needs across the spectrum, including gifted learners and high achievers.


Teachers at all grade levels provide their students with "scaffolding" to support their evolving understanding of knowledge domains and develop complex skills. The social setting supports scaffolding through collaborative learning, discourse, and modeling. After all, learning is a social process and social interaction plays a fundamental role in a child's cognitive development. However, if a student has physiological needs unmet, such as food and shelter and support and belonging, or is traumatized by adversity, or is chronically absent, even the best of learning environments will be no match to overcome these significant challenges. That's when the MTSS is deployed to intervene and keep students from falling further behind.


To that end, we are strengthening our student services division and will continue to do so as we further prepare for 2021-22 and beyond. The impact of the pandemic will reach far beyond this coming year and the next. Experts predict the impact will have long term implications, particularly on the most vulnerable students. We will respond accordingly by providing appropriate levels of support, as needed.

Adult Transition Program Garden Project...

You may not be aware that in addition to serving TK-12 students, we serve 18-22 year-old students in a transition program that focuses on teaching independent living skills, including vocational skills. Under the leadership of our alternative programs director, Craig Shiflet, and our extraordinary transition specialist/teacher, Kennedy Segrest, our students created a school garden on the campus of the Alternative Education Center this year and took great pride in tending to it. See the 2-minute video below:

Adult Transition Program Garden Project

Education Program Options on the Rise...

Alternative education or alternative schools are not a new concept in American education. However, when some people think of alternative schools, they often think of the continuation model that serves students who are 16-years old or older who were not successful in the comprehensive high school or who need a smaller, more personalized experience, or a more flexible schedule due to other demands in their lives, such as employment or family responsibilities.


But alternative education has evolved in the A.I. [Artificial Intelligence] era. Education option models are plentiful and are consumer-driven, adapting to the increasingly digital context in which we live. Today, options extend well beyond students recovering credits or preparing for a high school equivalency diploma (GED). In the most successful models, teaching is done by using blended methods and a variety of tools, making learning a more personalized and remote process. While we knew all about alternative education options before COVID, the pandemic has shed light on the reality that teaching and learning doesn't have to always involve a classroom, textbooks, and tests. Learning still occurred this year, even without a school. Parents and students are consumers in this emerging education marketplace.


Our Virtual Academy is one example of an alternative education setting. As we learned from our interest survey this past Spring, about a thousand families are interested in a remote learning environment in 2021-22, and for a variety of reasons, safety related to COVID among them. But we have also heard from families who seek a virtual learning option for reasons that range from their students performing very well this past year to seeking school flexibility due to their work environment becoming increasingly more flexible. In the new post-COVID economy, some companies are offering the option of flexible and remote work options to attract talent, particularly among knowledge workers.


Virtual learning in 2021-22 will look different than it looked this past year because there will be far fewer students involved. We partner with Edgenuity to offer solutions for families who plan to choose a virtual learning option for students in grades' 6-12. The Edgenuity learning management system offers flexible, standards-aligned digital content and curriculum, providing learning options for students. The program pairs online curriculum and real-time data with teacher-led instruction to truly personalize learning. It also offers standards-based, age-appropriate intervention for math and reading. We learned this past year that remote learning is not ideal for most students. But for those students who succeeded this past year, it's an excellent option moving forward for families who prefer a virtual learning environment and whose students can learn independently.


For elementary-age students, Edgenuity is not an option. The challenge for younger students is focus and distractibility. Younger children are in the process of learning to manage sensory input and consequently engagement is often a challenge in the developmental process. Another challenge is supervision. A parent or support provider must be highly engaged to support a young on-line learner. Edgenuity partners with Accelerate Education to provide flexible online courses for K-5 students interested in remote learning. But the program is best suited for a HomeSchool model environment where a parent supervises the student daily and works with a district teacher who monitors progress and supports the on-line program, but doesn't directly teach.


As the California economy opens up again and we have guidance from the State on expected safety measures so we can provide more details on what in-person school will look like in 2021-22, we will survey our families again on whether they seek an alternative to in-person learning. Depending on the number of students who choose remote learning, we will determine options beyond the on-line platform programs explained above. Stay tuned.

Transitioning to TK/K & Middle School Workshop June 14, 21, 28...

Among the most successful services we offered students and their families this past year were our education workshops. We will continue offering workshops this summer with a program titled, "Moving on Up," focused on helping parents and students prepare for two of the most challenging transitions: entering TK/K and entering middle school (grade 6). I encourage parents entering TK/K and Grade 6 to sign-up today!


Our office of Equity and Access is sponsoring and conducting the workshops in partnership with the Advantage Public Institute. The workshops have three main themes:


  1. Emotional Support: Mental Wellness Needs, Issues, and Tips
  2. Social Support: Guiding healthy friendships and relationships.
  3. School Support: Aligning home and classroom goals for youth.


  • June 14 from 4:00pm - 5:30pm
    Overview on what to expect in supporting a child in their transitioning age.

  • June 21st and June 28th
    Supporting students' social and emotional development.
    • TK/Kinder parents: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
    • Middle School parents: 5:30pm - 6:30pm


Workshops will happen on Zoom, through Meeting ID 970 5041 4053, which can be accessed by clicking here or at zoom.us/join. See the flyers for additional details below.

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Summer School Update...

Summer school enrollment is at an all-time high, with 3,737 students participating. It's great to see so many students taking advantage of the academic and social support offered during the summer term.

Alvord Cares & Child Nutrition Services Provide Meals and Support for Families over the Summer too.....

Call Child Nutrition Services at (951) 509-6200 for details on the summer feeding program.
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Why Read at Least 30 Minutes a Day?...

Reading is literacy nutrition. It's brain food.


If daily reading begins at day one, by the time the child is five years old, he or she has been fed roughly 54,750 minutes of brain food!


  • Reduce that experience to just 30 minutes two times a week for five years, and the child's hungry mind gains only 15,600 minutes of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and stories.
  • Reading to a child just one time a week over the course of 5 years, means a child is only relieving 7,800 minuets of language.
  • A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition.

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In Closing....

On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for supporting summer learning and filling our summer school classrooms...and thanks for continuing to partner with us. Stay tuned to the Round-Up all summer long to stay current and engaged as we approach the 2021-22 school year.


As far as COVID restrictions next school year are concerned, the question I get asked most frequently is, "Will face covering be mandatory for students next school year." The question remains unanswered at this point in time. We expect the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other agencies to provide safety guidelines after the June 15 announcement. I will provide details in upcoming messages. Stay tuned.


Have a great summer! We will see you when the 2021-22 school year begins, on August 6.


Stay positive. Stay safe. Be well.


Sincerely,


Allan Mucerino

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JUNE IS LGBTQ+ PRIDE MONTH

AUSD adopted a resolution on May 20, 2020 designating June 2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, celebrating the history and contributions of LGTBQ+ Americans in United States History.

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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

The Riverside County Department of Education (RCOE) also provides many services for school-age children and their families. Click on the image below or here to visit the RCOE Parent Portal. To browse by topic, click on the links below for detailed information.

  • Child Care for Essential Workers
  • Child Care Assistance and Resources
  • Child Care Finder
  • Head Start
  • Migrant Head Start
  • State Preschool
  • Teen Parent Program
  • Infant/Toddler Special Education Programs
  • GOOGLE CLASSROOM AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

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

    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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