ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Distrito Escolar Unificado de Alvord

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Dear Members of the Alvord Community,


Thank you to everyone who has respectfully communicated your concerns to me about California's plan to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I've heard from families and employees for and against the State's plan. On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you to the parents and employees who attended this past Thursday's School Board meeting to share concerns and express sentiments about the mandate.


While everyone doesn't agree on the planned vaccination mandate and other public health guidelines, I believe we can all agree on the impact of the pandemic and the heartbreak and turmoil it has caused. The long-term implications may be potentially even more heartbreaking if we are not able to intervene and focus our energy on teaching and learning. As a district, we are rethinking everything from student and learning supports and the roles and functions of staff providing such supports, to how we approach learning, behavior, and emotional problems given the multitude of challenges teachers, schools, and the district faces during these controversial times.


Since COVID-19 struck, controversies revolving around school and the pandemic have become emotional and consequently highly divisive. School districts everywhere are struggling to balance parental rights and parent's choice with legal requirements and public health mandates. We will continue to listen to our students, staff, and families and make decisions that use science and data to guide our decisions, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other highly respected sources.


Below are the most frequently asked questions about the vaccinations:

Q: Is Alvord currently requiring students and staff to comply with the new COVID-19 vaccination mandate?

A: No. The vaccine mandate will not take effect until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccine for the different age groups.


Q: When will the vaccine be required and for what age groups?
A: State officials expect the mandate to take effect on July 1, 2022 for students in grades' 7-12, but it could take effect as soon as January 1, 2022.


Q: Will there be exemptions if I do not want my child COVID-19 vaccinated?

A: At this point in time, we anticipate that the vaccine will be required by regulation, not legislation. Therefore, we anticipate that parents may choose to exempt their student due to medical and personal beliefs. (HSC section 120338).


Q: What is the law on medical exemptions for immunizations currently required?
A: Starting January 1, 2021, medical exemptions can only be issued through the California Immunization Registry – Medical Exemption website (CAIR-ME) by physicians licensed in California. Learn more about the medical exemption process here.


Q: What is the law on personal or religious exemptions for immunizations currently required?

A: California no longer offers personal or religious exemptions to immunization requirements for students. However, some students may have their previous exemptions "grandfathered in." If a student received a personal beliefs exemption prior to January 1, 2016, that exemption is valid until the student enters the next grade span. For example, an exemption obtained prior to 7th grade is no longer valid when the student enters 7th grade. An exemption obtained in 7th grade or thereafter is valid through 12th grade.


Q: When will we know what is required, when it will be required, and whether or not there will be exemptions?
A: To be determined. I will update this information as soon as it is released.


Q: Where can I learn more about immunization law?
A: Learn all about California's statutory requirements, Code of Regulations, and public health orders here.


Below is a video from the California Department of Public Health with the latest immunization requirements that went into effect July 1, 2019.

New Changes in 2019 20 School Immunization Requirements

COVID-19 Data Dashboard Update at a Glance....

This past week one entire Kindergarten class was quarantined for 10 days. So far this school year, we have only quarantined two classes due to an outbreak of three or more cases. Both classes have been Kindergarten. According to medical experts, younger children are more commonly asymptomatic or have mild, non-specific symptoms compared to adults. Thankfully, all of our children with COVID-19 have eventually returned to school in good health.


With cold and flu season just around the corner, we expect more students will be experiencing symptoms that may be a cold or seasonal flu or may be COVID-19. Please keep your children home while they exhibit symptoms until they no longer have those symptoms and you can verify through testing that they are not COVID-19 positive. For additional information or to discuss your specific situation, please contact the Alvord Unified School District COVID Help Center at (951) 509-5014.


Positive Cases this past week:

  • 27 students (up from 20 last week and 23 the prior week)
  • 7 staff members (up from 2 last week and 5 the prior week)


Contact Tracing:


  • 241 students assigned modified quarantine (which means they can continue to attend school in-person as long as they don't develop symptoms and test twice weekly for two weeks)
  • 106 students assigned full quarantine (home for at least 10 days)


Overall, we have been serving students in-person for 45 school days. As of Friday, October 8, we have had 67 staff members (2.5% positivity rate) and 303 students (1.7% positivity rate) report a positive test for COVID-19. Stay current with our case rate by regularly tracking our COVID-19 Data 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.


This past week in Riverside County, there were 437 new cases (0.1% increase), 16.1 cases per 100K (7-day average), 12 new deaths (0.2% increase), and a 5.3% positivity 7-day rate (0.3% decrease from 7-days prior). There are currently 314 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, 19 fewer patients hospitalized from the prior day total (5.7% decrease). This data is as October 9, 2021 as reported on the State's tracking web site.

World Mental Health Day 2021...

Much like World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness. Family members, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, healthcare professionals, political officials and governments all play a role in addressing mental health and its impact on society. Students' mental health significantly affects their academic performance and later, career success.


Schools play an important role in identifying risk factors, providing and linking students to care, and facilitating social connections. Our school counselors and student services team are trained professional ready to help.

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School Support Professionals Are Here to Help...

Integrating social emotional learning into the school day has been a long time practice in schools. It has increased the last few years thanks to mental health awareness and even more so recently as a result of the pandemic and the increased number of risks associated with mental health, including social isolation, availability of support and care, and personal and economic loss impacting families. Among the primary actions needed to promote good mental health and wellbeing is removing the stigma and social misconceptions about mental health and replacing them with an atmosphere of positivity and acceptance. That's exactly what our schools strive to do through a variety of strategies, including the following practices:


  • Prioritizing connections with and between students.
  • Integrating social and emotional learning into student and professional-development curricula.
  • Using multiple methods for reaching out to students.
  • Offering counseling services from certified professionals.
  • Providing information and resources to students and families, including suicide-prevention hotlines, crisis text lines, and community-based resources.
  • Establishing clear protocols for in-school and community-based referrals.

External to our schools, there's 24/7 help available too:

I Love Riverside Annual Serve Day...

I Love Riverside's annual food collection drive was held yesterday at Hunt Park and Fairmount Park. The food drive was held in support of our own Alvord Cares program. Alvord Cares was established in 2017 by Trustee Carolyn Wilson with help from her friends. The Alvord Cares team of School Board members, classified and certificated employees, managers, administrators, and community members are inspired by their mission:


"Ensure that students’ basic needs are met so they arrive at school ready to learn and build a foundation for college and careers."


The program is funded by monetary and nonperishable food donations from Alvord employees, outside organizations, and neighbors. You can donate here.


Pictured below are the many helping hands supporting the event, including Trustee Wilson, RIverside Councilman Jim Perry, and Junior California Cadet Corps. students from Arizona Middle School, including Ava Hodges, Rolando Chua, Justin Marciel, and Kimberly Cruz, with La Sierra High School Cadet Corp. Sargeant Sophia "Sam" Mireles, and Arizona teacher Mr. Terrance Beezley. The Cadet Corps is a school-based, applied leadership program conducted within a military framework and is designed to provide maximum growth and leadership opportunities for cadets. Thank you to our students, teachers, staff members, and friends present to support this community event.

Norte Vista High School School Students Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month...

Students attending the Novi Saturday Academy created wood posters to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. Thank you students for being creative cultural leaders and thank you to Green Construction Academy teacher Mr. Ferguson for your guidance, support, and expertise.
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Thank you for Talking to Your Children About the #Devious Licks Challenges...

As I have reported in my last few messages, our schools have been vandalized as part of the nationwide social media challenge known as Devious Licks, primarily using TikTok. Each month is a different theme. In September, the theme was theft and destruction. The damage to school property led to restrooms being closed temporarily for repairs, which compromised our safety plan and inconvenienced students. In October, the challenge is physical violence against adults on campus. Thank you for discussing this dangerous game with your children.

Riverside Arts Museum & Art Alliance Awards Art Contest Winners...

The Riverside Art Museum in partnership with the Arts Alliance held an awards ceremony yesterday at the beautiful Riverside Arts Museum for local student artists participating in the Get Your Kicks At Route 66 Art Contest. Alvord students were among the most decorated of all Riverside students. In addition to our student honorees, teacher extraordinaire Dirk Shultz was honored for his contribution to the arts in Riverside. The following students were recognized:


First Place: Italo Schettini - Hillcrest

Second Place: Jonathan Kim - Norte Vista

Third Place: Adrian Alba - Norte Vista

Honorable Mention: Severo Rick Garcia - Hillcrest

Honorable Mention: Adam Sayeg - Hillcrest


Pictured below are some of the art on display, the award-recipients who were present, and others who came to enjoy the event and support the arts and the City of Riverside's two distinguished school districts, including Alvord Board of Education Trustee Mrs. Julie Moreno and Riverside Unified Board of Education Trustee Mrs. Kathy Allavie .

Progress Reports Available in Aeries Parent Portal...

To access report cards, go to the AERIES parent portal here. If you prefer a hard copy of your children's progress report mailed to your home, please inform your principal.

Update Contact and Medical Information in Aeries Parent Portal....

Please update your contact information and any documented medical condition in the Aeries Parent Portal here. Immunization records must be current too. Given the urgency associated with needing to contact a parent or guardian during the contact tracing process, it's critical that we have current information. Parents and students can easily access Aeries with the Aeries Mobile Portal app for parents and students. Click on the images below to download the mobile app.

Family Engagement Workshop: SPED, Part 2, October 26 - 5:00 to 6:00 PM...

The second in a series of workshops on special education services is titled, Ensuring Success for All Students. Sign up here.. The first workshop was titled, How does my student's progress report inform me of progress towards IEP goals? It was presented on October 4. Find the slides from the presentation here. Find the video presentation in English here and in Spanish here.

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Riverside Government Services Round Table This Tuesday...

Representatives from the offices of our local, state, and federal elected officials will discuss how the City of Riverside, State, and Federal elected representatives support our community. The event will take place at Arlanza Elementary School, on 5891 Rutland Avenue in Riverside, CA 92503 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.
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In Closing....

On behalf of your Board of Education and our entire team, thank you for your partnership and for your trust in us.


Stay positive. Test weekly. Be well.


Sincerely,


Allan Mucerino

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Learn About Safe & Supportive Schools for All Students

All students have the right to learn and grow in a safe and affirming environment that is free from bullying and harassment.

We're Hiring - Join our Family - Click & Apply

We need substitute teachers too.

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Donate to the Alvord Education Foundation Here

AEF relies on the the support of its donors to provide classroom enrichment grants to teachers and college scholarships to students.

Learn More About ParentSquare

ParentSquare is an on-line social media platform to enhance school-home communications

ParentSquare 3 Minute Overview
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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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Key Elements of 2021-22 Home-Based Learning Program...

Click here to learn more about home-based learning.

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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.

Find the COVID-19 Data Dashboard & FAQ Here

Stay Current by Tracking the Alvord Data Dashboard

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Covid Close Contact Procedures
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Procedimientos de Contacto Cerrado de COVID19
Covid19 Antigen Test Instructional Video
Video instructivo de la prueba de antígeno Covid-19
Riverside County Public Health COVID-19 News

Click here for COVID-19 Updates from Riverside County Public Health

Public Health Vaccine Update 92321

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.

    Navigating Google Classroom
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    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