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 anticipated, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released its COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California for the 2021-22 school year. Find it here.


The most frequently asked questions I have received have revolved around whether or not the new CDPH guidance impact masks and face covering. The answer is no. CDPH has reinforced the CDC guidance and requires schools to enforce masks for all students and staff when indoors. We are updating our Reopening Schools Safety Plan, now that we have the updated guidance. In general, our operational strategy to safely provide in-person instruction will focus on following five primary components:

  1. Consistent implementation of layered prevention strategies including, but not limited to:
    • face covering indoors
    • air scrubbers
    • improved ventilation
    • respiratory etiquette
    • desk shields and barriers
    • daily sanitization
    • hand-hygiene
    • staying home when sick and getting tested
    • contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation
    • physical distancing, when possible and appropriate
  2. Consideration of indicators of community transmission to reflect local levels of community risk.
  3. Phased prevention strategies based on levels of community transmission.
  4. Voluntary surveillance testing to monitor school population-level outbreaks.
  5. Vaccination for staff.

Students will not have to get their temperature taken to enter campus when school begins on August 6. However, we expect parents to conduct a daily self-check of their children and not send them to school if their child has a fever, chills, cough or other common symptoms. It is recommended any student exhibiting symptoms be COVID-19 tested.


See the complete Q & A in the News section below for all of the answers to your frequently asked questions about reopening plans for the 2021-22 school year. And stay current by frequently visiting the reopening schools 2021-22 homepage here.

Home-Based Program Survey Due Tonight...

On July 12, principals sent an email to all parents regarding our Home-Based program for 2021-22. The deadline to complete the survey is today. Completing this survey does not automatically register you for the program. You are not registered into the program until a master agreement is signed by the parent, student, teacher, and site administration. Completing the survey will prompt a call from your principal to discuss the program and next steps, if the decision is to move forward with home-based learning in 2021-22.


As of Friday, we have about 220 families who have expressed an interest in either signing up for the program or learning more about it. Many families were under the impression that the distance learning program would be the same as in 2020-21. As I have written in my previous messages, as well as posted in the 2021-22 FAQ, our home-based model in 2021-22 will be an independent study model in accordance with Senate Bill 130 (see more details below). We are utilizing Edgenuity for 6-12 students and Accelerate for K-5 students.

Edgenuity™ and Accelerate™ 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.

Key Elements of the 2021-22 Home-Based Learning Program...

  • 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.


Below are the home-based program videos that were sent as part of the survey principals sent on July 12. Find the actual survey here.

ENGLISH Home-Based Program
ESPANOL-Programa con base en el hogar

Hillcrest Student Cycles California National Parks for Charities....

Royce Felten completed a 363 mile ride across nine national parks in California to raise money for charities. A shining example of strength and perseverance, the rising junior at Hillcrest High School is a cancer survivor and also a person with autism. Way to go Royce! We are all very proud of you. Click on the image below to watch Royce's appearance on Good Day LA.

Alvord Students Deliver Messages of Hope...

The Upstream Committee of the Riverside County Suicide Prevention Coalition has curated a series of short video clips featuring students from Alvord Unified School District delivering recorded messages of hope and encouragement to seniors. Students from the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) programs at Hillcrest High School, Villegas Middle School, and Loma Vista Middle School participated. AVID is an academic support program offered throughout the district that encourages public service. See the student video messages below. They're heartwarming.

Youths share encouraging messages for seniors impacted by COVID-19

Registration and Data Confirmation Support Available...

Need help registering or confirming your student's data in Aeries? In-person, one on one, and video support are all available. For data confirmation, see the YouTube video in English or in Spanish for step-by-step instructions. For registration and data confirmation training in-person, see the dates and times below.
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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.


Register online here.

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:


  • Arlanza
  • Collett
  • Foothill
  • La Granada
  • McAuliffe
  • Myra Linn
  • Orrenmaa
  • RMK
  • Stokoe
  • Terrace
  • Twinhill


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.

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Our Family Engagement Office Wants to Hear From You...

Please complete a brief survey to inform us as we plan the remainder of our 2021-22 family workshops. Among the information we want to know about are what topics you would like to learn about, and what is the best time to present the workshop. Please take the survey in English or Spanish here.

Alvord Cares Hosted a Donation Event Saturday, July 12

Hundreds of grateful families attended our Alvord Cares 2021-22 kick-off event to get the school year off to a great start. Thousands of donated items from our community partners were distributed to our families, among them sneakers and shoes, backpacks and school supplies, and a variety of food items and home supplies. Alvord Cares founder and School Board Member Carolyn Wilson led the effort while many current and former Alvord employees, parents and students, community members, and members of the Alvord Board of Education supplied the person-power. Riverside Council Members' Jim Perry and Steve Hemingway were on hand, as were Corona Mayor Jacque Casillas and RCOE Superintendent Edwin Gomez. It was a great day! Stay tuned for the next Alvord Cares event coming soon.

In Closing....

On behalf of the Board of Education and our entire team, I hope your family is enjoying the summer and preparing for a great school year when we return on August 6.


Stay positive. Stay safe. Be well.


Sincerely,


Allan Mucerino

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Q: Will school be fully in-person, five days a week, when the 2021-22 school year begins on August 6?

A: Yes.


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?
A: Yes.


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?
A: Yes.


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?
A: Yes.


Q: What if a child refuses to wear a mask indoors?
Students will be offered our distance learning program.


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 will survey their families during the week of July 12. Based on our interest-survey in April, we have a small percentage of families interested in a home-based learning model.


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.


Have a question that does not appear here? Submit a question to the Superintendent here and use the subject FAQ.

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COVID UPDATES

Effective June 15, many restrictions related to physical distancing and capacity limits were lifted and the county color-coded tier system ended.

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

Take the Family Engagement Survey

We want to know what workshops you want us to conduct and how to best deliver the workshops. Click on the image below and let us know by completing the survey.

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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    Have a Question? Submit It Here With Today's Date

    Click on the button above to submit a question or make a comment to Superintendent Mucerino on Google forms. It's anonymous. Your questions will be answered in the FAQ