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A Message From The Superintendent

June 7, 2020

On May 17 in response to school reopening guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I reported that we plan to reopen schools on August 10, as scheduled (see the entire 2020-21 school calendar here). In that message I also reported that Alvord would be participating in the Riverside County Department of Education (RCOE) Reopening Schools Task Force. That Task Force completed their work this past Thursday. They announced plans to provide guidance based on the Task Force recommendations to school districts on June 19.

The California Department of Education has also announced it will release official guidance to schools on Monday, June 8. The guidance document is entitled, A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools. In a preview last week from Tony Thurmond, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the guidance document will include the following recommendations:

  • Face coverings: Students and staff should wear face coverings during all educational activities (at school or on a bus).
  • Physical distancing: Students and staff should engage in physical distancing (at least six feet of spacing between seats and in hallways and on buses) at all times.
  • Symptom screening: School districts should identify staff who can take temperatures for students and staff before they enter the campus.

Like all school reopening guidance documents, the recommendations offered are considered in the context of local conditions. All districts are tasked with designing high-quality and equitable instructional practices for all learners while arranging students and staff in the many new ways that will be needed in order to facilitate physical distancing guidelines. These are the primary challenges school districts face as they prepare for 2020-21.

Our own Task Force (Read my May 24 message for Task Force details) has already been hard at work discussing these challenges. Rest assured that when we reopen our doors on August 10, as currently scheduled, it will be because we are confident that we are prepared to provide educational and support services in ways that will satisfy local and state safety requirements, ensure a high-quality instructional and student-services program, and support our families that need their children in school. We can all agree that children can best be served in the safe confines of a school campus. That’s our goal. Reopen safely.

Practically every school district is considering the same three reopening possibilities: traditional schooling, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two, all contingent on local conditions related to COVID-19. To help us plan we are administering a survey to our families. Please complete the brief survey and provide us with your plans when school resumes on August 10. Click on the image below to choose the English or Spanish version of the survey and complete it today.

The parent survey will be among the input provided by students, staff, and parents to inform the Task Force and the Board of Education. Thank you in advance for completing it. We will also conduct Thought Exchanges and gather school site-based information through principals. Again, stay tuned to this space for weekly updates.

Session 1 of our Credit-Recovery summer school program is currently underway. Click on the image below for addition information on the summer school FAQ. Session 2 begins June 15.

Summer school for enrichment and to prepare for 2020-21 begins on July 6. It's a distance learning program designed by our instructional team. Contact your principal for the 2020-21 school year for more details on how to participate. I encourage all students to participate. If you need a laptop and connectivity support also contact your principal for the 2020-21 school year.

In closing, on behalf of the Board of Education, I want to reiterate the message AUSD sent to all of our families last week reaffirming our commitment to racial equality and social justice. Read it here in English or Spanish. To that end, on April 27, 2020, the school board appointed a Director of Equity and Access to intensify our efforts to make actionable our vision of a just, equitable, and inclusive education. Condemning the acts of senseless violence against the Black community is not enough. As educators we have a responsibility to address racism in America. Listening and affirming our students during this time when many of them are emotionally fragile is a responsibility we share with parents and other influential adults in the lives of our children.

This has been an unusual school year. And while everyone is clamoring for a return to business as usual, business as usual is the last thing we need. It's time for change.

Stay healthy. Be well.

In partnership,

Allan Mucerino


Summer school, 2020-21 plans, and other sections updated. This link opens in this window. Click back tab to return to the e-newsletter


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