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 if being a parent isn't difficult enough under normal conditions, add a pandemic and the decision to send your children to school in the midst of it, and parenting becomes even more of a challenge than usual. All but a few hundred of our families chose in-person instruction. Most parents sent their children to school because they believed it is how their children learn best; and many of us thought COVID-19 was mostly behind us. But that doesn't mean parents aren't anxious about that decision, particularly now that we are experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.


Attending school in-person is "normal" and it provides a sense of normalcy during a time when little else in our world is normal. Evidence from multiple studies conducted this past year suggest that most students learn more when they are in-person at school. Unlike the home or other places students were learning from, including cars or other spaces in the case of students suffering from home insecurity, students in the classroom have fewer distractions, increased concentration, and can receive more direct, personalized learning experiences and support. In-person school makes it easier for us to provide vital resources to students and their families. We all learned that students not being in school exacerbated the institutional harms that historically have disproportionately impacted students less-resourced than others.


Given Riverside County's high community transmission rate as a direct result of the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, we need to continue to be diligent and strictly adhere to our safety protocols while in school; and follow the recommendations of public health officials when out in the community. Our region experienced an increase in the case rate and the hospitalization and ICU rate this past week, while the testing positivity rate decreased (that's a good thing because it means more people are testing). The more frequently all people test, the easier it is for public health officials to track the state of the pandemic and help guide our decisions relative to keeping our schools safe and open.


In the past 14 days, we have had 27 staff and 64 students test positive. You can stay current by visiting our COVID-19 Dashboard and FAQ here. Cases recorded on the Dashboard are confirmed by Riverside County Public Health officials and remain on the Dashboard for 14 days. For example, the current Dashboard has all cases since August 13. It is updated daily or as cases are confirmed.


As we enter our third full week of school, we will continue to strictly enforce our safety measures. But we need your help. Please test yourself and your children routinely and keep your children home when they're exhibiting flu-like symptoms. For children with symptoms that are typical of an underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma) please contact the Alvord Health Services Clearance Clinic by calling (951) 509-5033 to discuss documenting the condition.


Also, please continue to teach your children to be socially mindful and aware that practicing good respiratory etiquette slows the spread of the disease and can keep them and everyone around them safe. Please stress the importance of properly wearing their mask and proper hand-washing and other prevention measures designed to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases like colds and flu.


We all have a role in keeping our schools safe and open for in-person instruction. Many families have already been notified that their student has been in close contact with a student who has tested positive. Below are frequently asked questions about the protocol. These questions have been asked and answered in the past and can be found on our COVID-19 Dashboard and FAQ here.


Q: What do I do if my student tests positive for COVID-19?

A: Keep your child home and notify your school's attendance office immediately. Contact your child’s primary care physician for health care guidance.


Q: When can students return to school following a positive test?

A: Students may return to school when they have met all of the following criteria:


  1. At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
  2. Other symptoms have improved; and
  3. The student is cleared to return to school by the Alvord Health Services Clearance Clinic. Contact (951) 509-5033 for return to school procedures.


Q: What do I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
A: Keep your child home and notify your school's attendance office immediately. Contact your child’s primary care physician for health care guidance.


Q: When can students return to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

A: Students may return to school when they have met all of the following criteria:


  1. At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
  2. Other symptoms have improved; and
  3. They have a negative test for SARS-CoV-2,: OR
  4. A healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma); OR
  5. A healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis (e.g., Streptococcal pharyngitis, Coxsackie virus):OR
  6. At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.


Q: Who is notified when there is a positive case on campus? (Updated 8.31.21)
A: Parents of all students identified through the contact tracing process are notified immediately via email (and in some cases texts). Then, school or district officials follow-up the email with a phone call to families with an error message on the email or text or who do not pick up their four home-testing kits. Riverside County Public Health officials are notified too.


Q: What do I do if my student is identified through the contact tracing process as having been exposed to a student who tested positive?
A: Students who are close contacts (more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within 0-6 feet indoors) are expected to follow the guidelines for modified quarantine. They may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they:


  1. Are asymptomatic;
  2. Continue to appropriately mask, as required;
  3. Undergo at least twice weekly testing during the 10-day quarantine; and
  4. Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting (Unless the student is vaccinated in which case they may participate in extracurricular activities with twice-weekly negative tests).


Q: What counts as close contact?
A: Related to school, close contact includes any person who was within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period or had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them) or shared eating or drinking utensils.


Q: What is modified quarantine?

A: Students on modified quarantine remain in school and must undergo twice weekly testing (each test at least 3 days apart) and not participate in any extracurricular activities at school, including sports, or any other activity outside of the regular school day, on campus or in a community setting, through Day 10. (Unless the student is vaccinated in which case they may participate in extracurricular activities with twice-weekly negative tests).


Q: What should the timing be for twice weekly testing of students in modified quarantine?
A: Test immediately after being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Subsequent testing should occur at least 3 days apart.


Q: When can students on modified quarantine resume all activities?
A: Modified quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen is collected after Day 5 from the date of last exposure and tests negative.


Q: How do students learn when they are isolated or in quarantine and cannot attend school in-person?
A: Students work asynchronously by accessing their Google classrooms. If students are out of school for 3 or more days, they will enter into a Short-Term Independent Study Contract until they return.


Q: Where can I find out how many confirmed positive COVID-19 incidents have been identified at my school?

A: Visit our COVID Date Dashboard here. Cases recorded in the Dashboard are confirmed by Public Health and remain on the Dashboard for 14 days.


Q: What data is on the Dashboard?

A: The data represents the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among AUSD students and staff on our campuses. The data is updated daily or as cases are confirmed.


Q: When would an entire school be quarantined due to an outbreak?
A: The decision to temporarily close a school would be made in consultation with the Riverside County Department of Public Health, if it is determined that not closing poses a significant threat of substantial school or community spread.


Q: How long may schools be quarantined?
A: The length of closure will depend on the reason for closing. Decontamination and contact tracing may result in 3-5 days of closure. Significant absenteeism of staff and students may result in 2-4 weeks. If closing is part of a larger community mitigation strategy for local areas with substantial community spread, it could result in 4-8 weeks of closure.


Q: Will teaching and learning continue during quarantine?
A: Yes, students currently quarantined due to testing positive or exhibiting symptoms after exposure to a positive case have been moved to asynchronous distance learning until they are safe to return to school. In the case of an entire class or school, we will utilize both synchronous and asynchronous distance learning strategies, depending on the situation and circumstances.


Q: What type of test is used for the home-testing kit the school provides?

A: The Rapid antigen tests. It is similar to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in that both check for active infection of COVID-19.


Q: What is the difference between a Rapid antigen tests and a PCR test?
A: Rapid tests aren’t as sensitive as PCR tests. The rapid test results are available in as little as 20 minutes. The PCR test requires a lab and takes between 24-72 hours to receive results, depending on demand.


Q: Which test is better?
A: Both tests serve a purpose given the time it takes to test and the time it takes to receive results. PCR tests are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.


Find the flowchart that school officials use to guide decision-making below:

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We Need Substitutes for All Positions...

If you read last week's message you know we are experiencing a shortage of substitutes for positions. All school districts are experiencing the shortage and are competing for a small pool of qualified people. If you're interested in joining the Alvord team, or know someone who is, visit our EdJoin page here for details of the positions and to complete an application. We seek substitute teachers and a variety of classified positions. See the image below for employment opportunities.
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Introducing ParentSquare...

We are excited to announce that we recently adopted a new advanced form of school-to-home communication at Alvord. It's called ParentSquare. It's designed to keep parents informed and facilitate participation at school. It provides a safe way for principals, teachers, staff, and parents/guardians to:


  • Send and receive school and class information
  • Share pictures and files
  • See calendar items
  • Sign up to volunteer
  • and much more . . . all in one centralized place!


Look for more information from your principal as we roll out the new communication system. Learn more about it in the video below.

ParentSquare Overview for Parents

Join the Alvord Family Literacy Book Club Starting September 13...

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Plan to Join a Conversation About Education with the Riverside County District Attorney on September 14...

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iReady Testing Continues...

Your children are in the process of being assessed in language and mathematics. As you may recall from last year, we use iReady as part of our overall assessment plan. It provides us with rich insight into student mastery and the tools to use the data to inform instructional decisions. It also serves as a tool to determine comprehensive supports for our students who may have experienced learning loss or are performing below grade level. iReady pinpoints students’ strengths and knowledge gaps at the sub-skill level, helping teachers address skills gaps. For questions about iReady or our general assessment plan, contact our Coordinator of Assessment, Erin Askier, here.

After School Program Filling up Fast...

While we are still accepting applicants for our extended learning program after school, McAuliffe, Terrace, Valley View, Arizona, Loma Vista and Villegas are at capacity. Students applying for those schools will be placed on a Wait List. Learn more about our after school program below in the News section.

Sophomores and Juniors Take the PSAT Free of Cost....

Calling all 10th and 11th grade students. Time is running out to sign up to take the PSAT exam. Access the registration link here. All 10th and 11th grade students are strongly encouraged to take the exam. Students can earn a merit scholarship. We offer the exam at no cost. The deadline is September 10, 2021. Learn more about the PSAT in the News section below or by meeting with your high school counselor.

In Closing....

On behalf of the Board of Education and our entire team, thank you again for your partnership, your support, and your grace as we work together during these challenging times.


Stay positive. Stay safe. Test weekly.


Sincerely,


Allan Mucerino

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Sign Up for the PSAT Free of Cost

Click on the button above to access the google form to sign up prior to September 10. See more details below.

The PSAT score is used by the National Merit Scholar committee to determine scholarship rewards of up to $2500. There are three types of Merit scholarships awards that can be awarded based on the PSAT score:


  • National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
    Every Finalist competes for these single-payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state-representational basis. Winners are selected by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.

  • Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
    Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.

For more detailed information regarding the National Merit Scholarship program please visit their website (https://www.nationalmerit.org/s/1758/interior.aspx?sid=1758&gid=2&pgid=424).


To Register for the PSAT at AUSD please complete the google form (link below) no later than September 10, 2021. Please remember that once you complete the form you are registered for the exam. We will not be able to accept late registrations.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSct73ff1Do5AD7qm6TJl-ufDtomKirEvjhKBXhiGxeOefwxwA/viewform

Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact your counselor if you have any questions regarding the PSAT or the National Merit Scholarship program.

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See Frequently Asked Questions About Safely Reopening

Visit the FAQ home page for the most current information.

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Our home-based program utilizes Edgenuity™ and Accelerate™ to deliver curriculum and instruction. Both programs 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. Following are key elements of the program. Contact your principal for additional details:


  • 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;
  • Students in grades' 3-12 with specialized academic needs use Odysseyware;
  • Students in the district's moderate to severe program utilize our alternative curriculum, News‑2‑You (N2Y);
  • 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 AB130, which was recently enacted to ensure all students have the option to participate in an alternative to in-person instruction.

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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. Sign up here in English and here in Spanish.

COVID UPDATES

Stay Current by Frequently Visiting the RIverside County Department of Public Health

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Kids and vaccines

COVID-Testing Sites in the City of Riverside...

CVS Pharmacy


CVS @ 6215 Riverside Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506

CVS @ 6840 Lincoln Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506

CVS @ 491 E Alessandro Blvd, Riverside, CA 92508


Mobile Van Schedule


Wednesdays @ Bordwell Park, 2008 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Thursdays @ Bryant Park, 7950 Philbin Ave.

Fridays, @ Casa Blanca Library, 2985 Madison Avenue

Saturdays @ Fairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd.

Sundays, Arlington Heights Sports Park, 9401 Cleveland Avenue


Drive-Thru Locations


La Sierra Park Drive-Thru Location
Make an appointment @ 5215 La Sierra Avenue

7 days a week (except holidays)

Open daily (except holidays)
11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (closed 3 – 4 p.m.)


UCR Lot 26 Drive-Thru
Make an appointment @ 3443 Canyon Crest Dr.

Riverside, CA 92507

Open daily (except holidays)
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed noon – 1 p.m.)


Kiosk Location

Make an appointment @ 3900 Main Street
Open daily (except holidays)
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (closed 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.)


For locations sponsored by RIverside County, visit their COVID-testing location finder here.

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

Family Engagement Office Fall 2021 Workshop Schedule...

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