Dear SBCSS Team,

With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases statewide, a majority of school districts in California plan to reopen with distance learning for the 2020-21 academic year. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference that addressed the daunting concerns that many families, students and teachers have about schools safely reopening. Newsom stated “safety is foundational” for the reopening of schools and established guidance on face covering requirements; physical distancing protocols; regular testing for staff and contact tracing for schools. The new guidance is posted on the SBCSS COVID-19 webpage.

Superintendent’s Message
“As educators, we want to see our students back on school campuses, yet it is critically important that we only reopen our schools when it is safe for students, staff and families.” View this week’s video.

Business Services
Maintenance Operations and Transportation is initiating all SBCSS heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to high efficiency filters recommended by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. The warehouse team diligently separated, packaged and distributed protective personal equipment received from the California Office of Emergency Services for county school districts last week. Districts are scheduled to stop by the Support Center throughout the month to pick up their allotments. Business Advisory Services is reviewing district budgets to determine the status and solvency of our districts and is also preparing for other various year-end closing activities.

Human Resources
Human Resources is attentively working on filing positions to ensure that SBCSS program needs are met. The department continues to work toward ensuring that our countywide “Back-to-School” orientation process is planned and adaptive to our new virtual approach. The management team in Risk Management, in collaboration with Human Resources, continues to research and implement decisions aligned to the federal Center for Disease Control guidelines to ensure a safe work environment for our valued employees.

Innovation and Engagement
The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be offering a virtual competition tool for use in the 2020-21 school year. It can be used at all levels of competition (school, district and county). Students will be able to compete regardless of whether they are learning in a virtual or traditional classroom. The Southern Region Student Wellness Conference was an amazing success! The conference hosted more than 1,300 attendees, four live keynote speakers, 16 live breakout sessions, 10 learning labs, 15 student photo voice presentations and two student performances.

Education Support Services
Webinars, team meetings, and other resources, are set to be rolled out in the upcoming weeks to help districts prepare their Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans. In support of the San Bernardino Countywide #Vision2Read, Footsteps2Brilliance, SBCSS our countywide literacy partners are promoting the third annual Summer Reading Challenge that runs now through Sept. 30. This year’s goal is to reach 5 million words!

Student Services
Following Gov. Newsom’s release of mandates for the 2020-21 academic year, Student Service’s programs will be on distance learning until San Bernardino County has remained off the state monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Human Resources and Student Services will be working collaboratively with the associations to determine roles and responsibilities during distance learning instruction. Stay tuned for more details.

Office of the Superintendent
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools continues its Equity Series of webinars this week on July 21. This Tuesday’s webinar will discuss schools, safety and safety resource officers. County Superintendent Ted Alejandre and various other county professionals, educators and law enforcement representatives will share current information and resources.

We Need You!
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Let’s continue to follow the recommendations made by our public health experts and Gov. Newsom on wearing face coverings in public, maintaining social distancing and practicing good hygiene by washing our hands or using hand sanitizers.

Together we can slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay safe and be well.