JANUARY 31, 2021

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A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Members of the AUSD Community,

The Great Kindness Week Challenge was taken by many of our schools this past week. It was a huge success! As the old saying goes, No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. I challenge everyone to take a personal kindness challenge every day of every week and make our community and our world a better place.

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Among the questions most frequently asked this week, the most popular focused on improved COVID conditions and reopening schools, vaccinations, supporting students, summer school, and retention in 2021-22.

Q: Are we any closer to reopening our schools?
There's good news. Some of the key indicators in Riverside County and the City of Riverside have begun to improve, although the county remains deeply in the Purple Tier and ICU bed availability remains at zero. But as of Friday, the case rate dropped to 110.6 (from 148.4 last week), the positivity rate dropped to 20% (from 23.5% last week), the adjusted case rate dropped to 77.6 (from 95.9 last week), and the health equity metric dropped to 22.5% (from 27.6%). The target rates to transition from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier and be eligible to reopen consist of a positivity rate of less than 8.0% (currently 20%), an adjusted case rate of less than 7.0 cases per 100,000 (currently 77.6), and a health equity metric of less than 8.0% (currently 22.5%). See the entire Tier system rates below in the News section under COVID.

Q: What is the best estimate for reopening?
As local conditions improve, our transition to the Red Tier accelerates. As I noted in last week's message, the best estimate at this point in time to reopen for in-person instruction for students and staff in the hybrid model ranges from mid-March to mid-April. See the projection table for this week below in the News section under COVID. We are physically prepared to reopen once we enter the Red Tier. We meet or exceed all of the State's safety guidelines.

Q: What are some key dates in the immediate future?
Depending on when the county transitions to the Red Tier or if a new reopening plan emerges from the state legislature providing flexibility for districts in counties in the Purple Tier, the following dates will be considered to ensure a smooth transition:

President's Week is 2/08/21 to 2/15/21. School closed.

First 2nd Semester Progress Reporting Ends 2/19/21

Spring Break is 03/29/21 - 04/02/21. School closed.

Second 2nd Semester Progress Reporting Period Ends 4/9/21

Last Quarter Begins 4/12/21

Last Day of School is May 28

Q: What happened to the Governor's new proposed reopening plan and does it impact Riverside County?
The plan remains a proposal at this time. It does not have legislative approval. The Governor's proposal is to fast-track elementary school openings for districts residing in counties in the Purple Tier that have a case rate of 25 or fewer positive cases per 100,000 county residents. The proposed reopening plan requires schools to COVID-test all employees and students no less than every other week. At this time the plan does not impact any county as it remains a proposal.

Q: Will vaccinations effect reopening plans?
School employees are eligible to receive the vaccine, but it will take months to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccination due to limited amounts of the vaccinations and no process specifically designed to vaccinate school employees. But there's some good news too. The rate of vaccination administered in Riverside County increased by 75% this past week. As of this past week, Riverside County had received 193,875 COVID-19 vaccine doses and 149,079 had been administered. Riverside County has about 2.5 million people. As of last Friday, a little less than 6% of county residents have received the first of two doses. Below are two detailed videos about vaccinations from Riverside County Public Health. These are the same videos I included in my message last week, in case you missed them. Stay current by visiting the county's vaccination web site here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update 011421
Vaccine 2nd Dose

Q: What's the latest on sports?
While the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) canceled the fall sports playoffs and championships for football, girls’ volleyball, water polo and cross country for the CIF Southern Section (CIF-SS), it did not cancel the entire season for the above-mentioned fall sports. However, this past week, the county highly recommended that inter-team cross country and all competitions be placed on hold until county health officials provide more guidance. County health officials are creating a plan to guide a safe return to competition. Conditioning continues following strict safety guidelines. Stay tuned for more details.

Q: Do I need to complete the summer school survey?
Only if you plan to attend. But we hope every student who has fallen behind or who wants to get ahead will attend. Completing the survey is for our planning purposes. It does not obligate students to attend. Signing up for summer school will come later in the spring. We are planning a comprehensive program this summer focused on learning loss, intervention, and engagement for all students at all grade levels. Elementary and middle school families received the survey this past Monday from their principals. High school students are in the process of meeting with their counselors to choose courses for next year and receive applications for the summer credit recovery program. Our high schools are also designing a summer intervention program to address learning loss. Look for an interest survey soon.

Q: How can I support my children's learning?

First and foremost, continue to work closely with us and cultivate the parent/home connection. Help us help your children. Take advantage of our teacher's office hours. It's a great way to get one-on-one or small group help. Equally important is to work with teachers, learning specialists, counselors, support providers, and principals to support social-emotional learning and teach your children how to manage their emotions, set goals and make decisions, and build resiliency. Also, we offer free tutoring through our extended learning program after school hours. Call (951) 358-1682 or email Extended Learning here for details.

Q: When is the next Parent Workshop?
This week's presentation focuses on supporting learning in English Language and Mathematics for middle and high school students. Join our extraordinary secondary school teachers, Mrs. Fish and Mrs. De La O, on February 3, starting at 4 pm. See details and the link below in the News section under Family Engagement. Topics include:

  • Using teacher feedback to improve learning
  • Responding to progress reports
  • Leveraging school resources
  • Online tools for success
  • Helping struggling students
  • Empowering successful students
  • Parents as partners in education

Last week's Parent Engagement virtual workshop, Supporting Elementary Students' Learning in English Language and Mathematics, was a huge success. If you missed it you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel here.

Q: Can my child repeat a grade next school year?
I am receiving a lot of questions about repeating a grade level, known as grade retention, due to learning loss during the pandemic. Or, in the case of kindergarten, which is not mandatory, not attending at all this school year. There is currently an assembly bill (AB104) in California that if passed would give any parent or guardian the authority to request that their child be held back this coming year. From an educator's perspective, repeating a grade level is a last resort because studies of students retained have consistently shown that long-term issues with self-esteem and emotional or social difficulties outweigh the perceived academic benefit. Instead, alternatives including intensive interventions, multi-age grouping, and additional individual and small group learning time incorporated into a learning plan are recommended. As we continue to plan for the 2021-22 school year we are taking learning loss into consideration as we prepare next year's program. Contact your school's principal or call 951-509-5036 or email the Elementary School division if you're considering retention for your child. Every child's situation is different and many academic and social factors, including age, should be considered before making a decision.

Q: When does TK/Kindergarten on-line registration begin?
Registration is now open. Enrollment Information can be found here. Kindergarten enrollment is down between 15-20% in most districts this year, including Alvord. Many families chose to delay kindergarten due to remote learning. Some children will be behind next school year, but children who missed kindergarten might be even further behind. Contact your school's principal or call 951-509-5036 or email the Elementary School division for more information and to discuss the best option for your child.

Q: How can I provide input for the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)?

We have launched a Thought Exchange to collect your thoughts to inform the plan, which is updated annually. Find the Thought Exchange link here. Choose your preferred language. It's anonymous and does not require a log in. Thank you in advance for providing us your thoughts.

Q: Can I still nominate a student for Riverside’s annual 25 Most Remarkable Teens awards?Yes! Tonight is the deadline.To be nominated, a teen should excel in one or a combination of these areas: academics, visual & performing arts, athletics, community involvement, leadership, courage to overcome, or any other remarkable trait(s) that deserve recognition. Nominees must be in grades 8 to 12 and live in the city of Riverside. Learn more about it and nominate your teen here.

Q: How do I learn more about Alvord students taking virtual college classes from RCC or NCC?

Contact your counselor or visit our College & Career web site here for exciting information on a new partnership with Riverside City College and Norco College. AUSD is now offering a variety of college courses starting this Spring at no cost to students through a unique College & Career Pathway program. See more information in the News section below under College & Career.

Q: Is there support for taking college classes as a high school student?
Yes. The Riverside Community College District offers a Quest for Success program. Learn about it this Thursday, February 4th, from 3:30-4:30 pm, during a workshop on how to succeed in college classes. Topics include program expectations, free academic support, and RCC' s online learning system. Find the Zoom Link here. RCC also offers free webinars on how to succeed in online courses. Complete the RCC Quest for Success modules here.

This coming Thursday, February 4, at our Regular Meeting of the Board of Education, Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson will be introduced to our school community shortly after our open session begins at 6:00 pm. The Mayor presented her first State of the City address last Thursday evening. She served on the Riverside Unified School District Board of Education prior to becoming Mayor. Please join us and meet Mayor Lock Dawson.

On behalf of the Board of Education, I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to reach out to us if you are experiencing food or home insecurity, physical or mental health challenges, learning challenges, or any other adverse conditions. Contact your school's principal or counselor or email our Student Services department here or call (951) 509-5139, Monday - Friday, from 7:30am - 4:30pm. We are here to serve you.

Let's stay strong. Together we can fight this pandemic and get our kids back in school.

Stay healthy. Stay positive.

In partnership,

Allan Mucerino

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Riverside’s 25 Most Remarkable Teens is an annual event organized by the Riverside Youth Council. Awards are given by the Youth Council, Mayor, and City Council to celebrate high school students’ various accomplishments..


The College & Career Access Pathways (CCAPs) are one way for college-ready high school students to enroll in college courses.

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Limited space available. Click on the image to visit the DLI web site or call 951-509-5094

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Find multiple resources from SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Click on the image below to visit the City of Riverside's COVID-19 Information Web Site

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Click on the image below for more details on COVID-19 data in Alvord

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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.


View the Family Engagement Home Page Here

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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

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


    We use Peachjar's digital flyer management solution to deliver important school and community resources to our students and their families.


    Find contact information and connect to each school's web site

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