ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord
September 25, 2022
A Message from the Superintendent
The synthetic drug fentanyl has made national news headlines the past couple of weeks. Among the most shocking story, the death of a 15-year-old girl who overdosed in the restroom of her high school in Los Angeles after taking pills that the police reported were laced with fentanyl that she allegedly bought from fellow students.
This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an alert about a new version of fentanyl that comes in bright colors and resembles candy. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency recently identified this new trend in which “rainbow fentanyl” appears in bright colors and in many forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy.
Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and 40-50 times more potent than heroin. As a result, it’s a major cause of overdose for unsuspecting individuals. Officials warned that any pill (regardless of its color, shape, or size) that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can contain fentanyl and can be deadly.
Young people may purchase pills unaware that they contain fentanyl. According to the DEA, this version appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people. According to news sources, approximately every 8 minutes, on average, a person dies from an opioid overdose. There are many reasons for opioid overdose emergencies, and most often they happen accidentally and at home.
Last year, the Alvord Board of Education approved including Naloxone in the form of nasal spray (Narcan) among our Health Services/Health Office emergency medical supplies at our schools in response to the fentanyl epidemic in Riverside County. Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, opioid-related overdose deaths in California’s youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (54 total) to 2020 (274 total), marking a 407 percent increase over two years, largely driven by fentanyl. In addition, fentanyl-related overdose deaths in California’s youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (36 total) to 2020 (261 total), a 625 percent increase.
Learn more about the dangers of fentanyl below:
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets and can happen 24/7 and reach anyone at anytime. Cyberbullying can occur through text messages and apps, or on social media, in forums, or during gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else, causing embarrassment or humiliation.
Cyberbullying is repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly; the source can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. Cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint and deleting messages, texts and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted.
Learn more about protecting your children on-line at our STOP Cyberbullying web site here. Learn about the popular apps your child may have on their phone and how to report posts and videos that include threats, bullying or other concerning online behavior.
School Safety Weekly Update
School Vulnerability Assessment Update: As of Friday, September 23, our safety and risk management consulting team has completed a comprehensive school safety assessment at every school. The next step, aside from immediate action to address an imminent danger, is to address findings from the assessments to build a school security plan unique to each school's needs. All school plans will include state-of-the-art safety and security enhancements, including controlled access to buildings, advanced outdoor lighting, emergency alarm and intercom systems, and landscape design that is welcoming and inviting but also provides an open and clear visual line of sight to all campus and building access points. Learn how Measure J, on the November 8, 2022 ballot, supports our comprehensive facilities plan here.
Perimeter Bike Patrol Update: We have received our shipment of patrol bikes. Our personnel team continues to recruit and screen candidates. The final step in the process is certification training, which is renewed annually. I will provide a timeline in my next update.
Security Camera Update: Installation of cameras and surveillance systems plans are underway, beginning with our elementary schools. Each school has unique surveillance needs given the variety of campus designs and supportive infrastructure in Alvord schools. No two campuses are exactly alike. Each school will have a comprehensive mix of strategically positioned cameras and flexible video surveillance systems.
Perimeter Fencing Update: Installation of anti-climb 8-foot perimeter safety fencing is underway, beginning with our elementary schools. Much like our cameras and surveillance systems, each school has unique fencing needs. The distinguishing feature of the fencing we are utilizing is the anti-scale and anti-cut welded wire mesh fabrication. This makes it very difficult to get a foothold on this fence, and the cutting implements required to sever its welded heavy steel wire cannot fit into the minimal spaces of the mesh.
On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for being an engaged member of our school community. The issues I addressed in this message are all threats to the future and well-being of our children and our community. These are complex problems that require our full attention as the adults in our children's lives. Together we can protect and serve our children well.
Thank you for reading my message.
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.
Upcoming Regular Meetings of the Board
Sept 15; Oct 6 & 20; Nov 3 & 17; Dec 15
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.
School Data for the week ending Friday, September 23, 2022
Students Reporting a Positive Case: 30 (Last week 27)
Staff Reporting a Positive Case: 8 (Last week 8)
Cases Requiring Contact Tracing: 28 (Last week 26)
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: 62.5 (Last Week 140.54)
New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population: 4.9 (Last Week 6.1)
% Staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19: 3.3% (Last Week 3.8%)
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.