Team Update 6/8/20
Dear SBCSS Team,
It has been a particularly challenging couple of weeks. We have seen firsthand, nationwide civil unrest in the midst of a national health crisis. Our resilience is truly being tested. Yet, we know we are stronger together and are optimistic that the spirit of community and collaboration will carry us to address issues of justice and equality just as we have worked collaboratively to address the impacts of the coronavirus.
San Bernardino County is moving forward with the gradual reopening of businesses. Along with this progress, the reopening of schools is at the forefront of the minds of our students, staff and families. Education and health officials have been collaborating on guidance school districts can apply as they consider best practices that keep students and staff safe and healthy. The California Department of Public Health released its guidance for the reopening of schools on June 5, and today, June 8, the California Department of Education released its guidance for safely reopening schools. Both guidance documents are posted on the SBCSS COVID-19 updates page of the website.
“In education, we know there are inequities in our systems that reflect that realities of our society. Still, as teachers, we have a moral duty to shine a light on these issues and have honest and courageous dialogue with students and our communities about how to combat racism, injustice and inequality.” View this week’s video message.
Internal Business Services (IBS) has begun the process of planning for the year-end closing of the financials. All departments are encouraged to review their records to ensure all purchases and services have been properly invoiced and forwarded to IBS for payment. Transportation staff is collaborating with districts who wish to utilize SBCSS transportation services as many districts cannot provide adequate social distancing to properly transport students following CDC guidance. Procurement Services is pleased to announce it is now carrying 8-ounce, alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Employees may order the product through Stores, catalog # 100007.
Education Support Services
Education Support Services received positive feedback in response to its presentation to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) Board on distance learning. The presentation included the SBCSS Distance Learning Consortium Plan and the Professional Learning component, which includes free courses (PreK - 2nd grade). Universal Design for Learning for elementary, middle and high school courses are in development.
Benefits Services thanks all County Schools staff for participating in the open enrollment process to update employee benefit selections. Risk Management Services is working closely with Maintenance and Operations to ensure the safety of SBCSS facilities during recent civil unrest and as the organization ensures facilities are operating at the standards to ensure the health and safety of students and staff as we near the beginning of the academic year and the return of students and employees. We appreciate the efforts of Human Resources technicians to work with branches on the filling of key positions through virtual hiring processes due to end-of-year retirements.
Innovation and Engagement
The Alliance for Education, in collaboration with the California State University, San Bernardino Center for Entrepreneurship, is offering the four-day UpStarters Virtual Discovery Camp 2020 for FREE. Students will learn and explore the fundamentals of entrepreneurship from this globally recognized program! Registration is still open. National History Day takes place virtually beginning June 14-June 20. The Healthy SBCSS team secured a mini-grant for $50,000 to expand the partnership with SBCSS and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for the Youth Opioid Response project. Children Deserve Success partnered with Feeding America to provide over 2,000 fresh produce boxes to families.
Office of the Superintendent
County Superintendent Ted Alejandre participated in the County Board of Supervisors COVID-19 response weekly update on June 5. The superintendent shared his work with state officials on preparing guidance for the safe reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year. Most of the county’s 33 school districts are scheduled to reopen during the month of August. Instructional program options include onsite traditional learning, distance learning and a hybrid model that would combine classroom and online learning.
Many congratulations are in order this week. Congratulations to the SBCSS Regional Teachers of the Year for 2020—Janelle Carlson, East Valley special education, Judson and Brown Elementary in Redlands; Rosie Dunn, state preschool, Lucy Siegrist State Preschool in Hesperia; Carmen Palacios, alternative education, Victorville Education Center; David Whitt, Desert/Mountain special education, Joshua Circle Elementary in Hesperia; Jeanette Young, West End special education, Liberty Elementary in Ontario. For more information on the winners, view the press release. Desert Mountain Operations (DMOP) staff delivered certificates of completion to graduates by caravan. Students were recognized for their accomplishment by a cheering group of DMOP staff, family and friends. Alternative education students and their families attended senior portrait sessions at Victor Education Center, Tri-City and Barbara Phelps Community Schools. Students received their cap and gown, gifts from the San Bernardino County Teachers’ Association, and a Class of 2020 yard sign. Congratulations also go out to our graduates from Norma Covert Early Education Center Preschoolers! Teachers, Omar Bourne and Elisa Sikora, Principal Terri Williams, and other staff members enjoyed the opportunity to honor these little grads. Check out the fun.
The Digital Learning Services department continues to deliver professional development and support for educators throughout the county. The team delivered virtual training for all Rim of the World School District teachers on Google Classroom Advanced Skills and Ideas for Lesson Design and also trained 100 Fontana educators on lesson design for blended and online learning.
We Need You!
Protests in response to the death of George Floyd continue across our nation and the globe. View the superintendent’s website message on this topic. As in all discussions, there are differing points of view on the protests and civil unrest. We want to encourage all staff to listen to one another with empathy and compassion. Find common ground and celebrate the differences that make each of us unique. Expand your circle of being and reach out to those who do not look or think like you do. Thank you for your strength and positivity during these unprecedented times.