ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord
December 4, 2022
A Message from the Superintendent
When students and employees stay home after testing positive or whenever they experience cold-like or flu-like symptoms, we can avoid a widespread outbreak and keep everyone healthy as we approach the end of the semester and the upcoming holiday season. The last day of the first semester for students is Thursday, December 15. It's a minimum day for students. Our next Slow the Spread campaign will be over winter recess. Students will be given home-testing kits during the last week of the first semester. Students can participate in the campaign by testing before returning to school on Tuesday, January 3.
DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS
Since this past August, when the Drug Enforcement Administration warned Americans that Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat we face today, schools turned their focus on educating students and parents about the highly addictive and potentially deadly synthetic opioid. Schools also began to keep Narcan on their campuses. Narcan is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. Last month, a high school student at a neighboring school district stopped breathing after taking a pill that was apparently laced with fentanyl. School staff took life-saving measures, including administering Narcan, to revive the student. The student recovered.
But it's not just opioids that are a threat to America's youth, it's marijuana too. This past week, seven students in a Los Angeles middle school were transported to the hospital to be evaluated for suspected overdoses due to mild or moderate distress. Allegedly, the students ate marijuana edibles. The students ranged in age between 12 to 15. Edible marijuana products often look just like regular sweets and snacks. Marijuana edibles can contain several times the recommended adult dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports a significant rise in the use of edible marijuana products involving children in the United States ages 12 and under. Even more of a concern is marijuana laced with Fentanyl or other synthetic drugs.
As the holiday season approach, it's important to recognize that stress often increases at this time of the year. Physical illness, depression, anxiety, and substance misuse and abuse are more common during the holidays. For people who live with mental illness challenges, conditions often worsen around the holidays. Experts warn that in the aftermath of COVID-19, more people are experiencing loss or grief, which can trigger depression, anxiety, and other mental illness challenges, sometimes leading to substance misuse.
Watch your children (and all family members) closely for signs of substance misuse. Physical warning signs include bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and sudden weight loss or weight gain. Behavioral warning signs include a drop in attendance and performance at school and engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors. Psychological warning signs include unexplained change in personality or attitude, sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts, periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness, and a lack of motivation.
SUPPORT NVHS FOSTER YOUTH SUPPORT PROJECT
Students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Norte Vista High School launched a massive community service project in 2020 that provides every foster student in our district with a wrapped Christmas shoe box filled with stocking stuffer type items including easily transportable games, candy, hygiene products, school supplies, and other items.
If you would like to support the project, there are a few ways you can help:
- We need shoeboxes, wrapping paper, and tissue paper.
- We need items from our Amazon wish list to fill the shoeboxes. Find the wish list here.
Learn more about the project from the brief video below and by visiting at the Christmas Shoe Box web page here.
SCHOOL SAFETY WEEKLY UPDATE
School safety has always been a priority in Alvord. Threats to our students' and employees' safety have grown over the course of the last decade. But during the past few years, and in the aftermath of the pandemic, internal and external threats of violence have escalated to unprecedented level and have led to a new set of responses.
Whether it is the threat of an active shooter, social media hoaxes, bullying, or illicit drug misuse, our Office of School Safety diligently focuses on prevention by working closely with multiple agencies and experts in threat assessment to keep Alvord on the cutting edge of school safety. Among our prevention activities is active shooter training. Like all of our practice drills, the events are conducted in age-appropriate ways to ensure students are not frightened or traumatized by the practice.
Even with our laser-like focus on prevention, there are times we have to shift our focus to responding. Our response teams are highly trained and often involve experts in a variety of specialized fields. The teams are always ready to be deployed via our communications protocol in the event of a crisis. Our goal is to prevent a crisis. But in the event we have one, we are ready to respond.
Parents can help by constantly reminding their children to be actively involved in keeping their school safe. When students follow the See Something, Say Something principle they help school teams prevent a problem before it's too late.
On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for actively engaging with us as your education partner. Together we can ensure our students have a positive school experience. We understand that it's not always perfect. We understand children and teens have challenges that sometimes result in behaviors or decisions that lead to poor outcomes. But it is our jobs as parents and schools to do absolutely everything we can to help our students overcome obstacles and grow into successful adults and contributing citizens in our democracy.
Upcoming Regular Meetings of the Board
Dec 15 (annual reorganization meeting)
Agendas are posted 72 hours in advance for Regular Meetings of the Board of Education. Find them here. Agendas are posted 24 hours in advance for Special Meetings of the Board of Education.
Public Comments Welcome
Meetings are conducted at KPC Parkway, Corona, CA 92879. The Open Session begins at 6 pm. Members of the public may address the Board for up to three minutes on any topic on the agenda or not on the agenda.
School Data for the week ending Friday, December 2, 2022
Students Reporting a Positive Case: 126 (Last week 47)
Student Cases Requiring Contact Tracing: 41 (Last week 33)
Staff Reporting a Positive Case: 34 (Last week 10)
Riverside County Data COVID-19 Community Level: Low (last week Low)
Weekly Metrics Used to Determine the COVID-19 Community Level
Case Rate per 100,000 population: 88.64 (Last Week 75.57)
New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population: 8.6 (Last Week 6.6)
% Staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19: 4.9% (Last Week 3.2%)
Recommended actions based on current level
Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others.