Dear SBCSS Team,

Thank you for finding new and creative ways to support our students and families during these unprecedented times. These past weeks have been truly inspiring to see everyone’s hard work. We hope that this past weekend allowed for some well-deserved downtime and an opportunity to thank our veterans. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond provided insight on the state’s plan to reopen schools in August and September. The County Board of Supervisors received approval from the state to move further into Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap. Our county meets the latest criteria that would allow the opening of malls, retail stores and dine-in restaurants to resume operations with COVID-19 compliant safety practices. In the meantime, as we progress towards a new normalcy, let us continue to encourage and support one another and remain resilient.

Superintendent’s Message
“I remain proud of the collaborative nature our school districts and superintendents have shown in these extremely turbulent times. I know as we work together with state and county leaders and public health officials, we will find solutions as we close out the 2019-20 academic year and work toward starting the 2020-21 year.” View this week’s message.

Business Services
Business Services staff and hundreds of school business personnel participated in the Capitol Advisors regional budget workshop on Friday with an update on the governor’s May Revision to the state budget and the financial impact to K-12 education. Maintenance Operations Transportation is getting a head start on summer projects due to the absence of faculty and students at schools. Internal Business Services staff updated the 2020-21 budget last week to coincide with the Governor’s May revise. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued a statement in response to the revise.

Education Support Services
As part of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence Distance Learning Consortium Education Support Services is creating professional learning courses to support teachers and parents on CANVAS (LMS). In response to district preference for professional development opportunities in the fall, Curriculum Instruction and Academic Achievement is pivoting all previously scheduled in-person training to a virtual platform, when appropriate, through Dec. 2020.

Human Resources
The Health Insurance Open Enrollment deadline is May 28. All employees are required to complete the process or risk losing their benefits. A SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union representative is available to meet via telephone with staff one-on-one to discuss 403b and 457b supplement retirement plans. Click here to schedule your personal appointment.

Innovation and Engagement
Student Events announced that Bella Rodriguez from Redlands High School won the California title in the Senior Division Individual Performance category at the National History Day competition. Her entry was titled “Dr. Bailey, Baby Fae and Baby Moses: Breaking the Barrier of Infant Heart Transplants.” She will be able to compete virtually June 14-20 at National History Day. SBCSS’ Tobacco Use Prevention Education received a three-year grant from the California Department of Education. The Alliance for Education, Millionaire Mind Kids and Garner Holt Productions will be hosting a free virtual STEAM camp to High Desert students ages 7-18.

Office of the Superintendent
County Superintendent Alejandre gave a Special Education update to the Ontario Commerce this past Wednesday via a Zoom Webinar. He also handed out posters to AVID coaches to distribute to their graduating seniors. The superintendent’s office is also busy preparing for the upcoming Classified Team Meeting on May 28.

Student Services
Student Services ordered yard signs for the SBCSS Class of 2020. Staff are in the process of coordinating special deliveries to students countywide. Student Services and the Healthy SBCSS program in Innovation and Engagement teamed up to present a series of webinars on stress in uncertain times. The first webinar was held May 20. “How to Handle Stress When My World Feels Upside Down” for students was held May 26. “Parenting During a Pandemic” will be offered on May 27 in both English and Spanish.

Technology Services
Technical Services is moving forward with an initial purchase of DocuSign digital signature software in order to meet the productivity needs of all branches as we continue to engage in remote work. DocuSign will allow us to convert more forms and paper-based processes into electronic workflows. The Digital Learning Services teams met with district representatives to plan for SBCSS-provided staff development during the next academic year. Areas of focus will include blended learning, universal lesson design, distance learning strategies and core EdTech skills.

We Need You!
We had five responses to our weekly challenge to recognize classified team members. Teacher Nina Andrews with our West End First Class program, teacher Christine Shea from Mulberry County Early Education Center, and Operations Manager Kathy Bassil from Education Support Services were the first three submissions. Each will receive a Starbuck’s gift card. Thank you for your support of our amazing classified staff! Visit our Facebook photo album to see their inspiring stories.

This week’s challenge is to submit photos and words of gratitude for our veterans in honor of Memorial Day. The first three submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will win a Starbucks gift card. Please use “Gratitude for Vets” in your email subject title.

The recent SALSA virtual fundraiser was a big BINGO success. Laughter and connection were the highlights of the event. Thank you for your support of the SALSA scholarship fund.

Our situations change daily and we must acknowledge that working remotely has been a challenging adjustment. The recent stress management webinar illustrated how important it is to reach out and use your support system to improve mental health and physical wellness. A few tips were to help others, foster a positive work culture and limit access to digital media. You are not alone. There is inspiration to be found all around us. One woman created her own newspaper that only reports happy stories.

Thank you for inspiring others and for transforming lives through education!