Dear SBCSS Team,

Beginning this week, students at some San Bernardino County schools will begin the new academic year with distance learning. To ensure that students have the basic technology to access their virtual learning environment, the California Department of Education will grant California schools learning loss mitigation funds to acquire digital devices, help address learning gaps, strengthen distance learning and close the digital divide. SBCSS is dedicated to promoting equitable outcomes within remote learning for all its students. We have partnered with Empire KVCR and Riverside County School Districts to provide an at-home California state standards-aligned educational televised programming in English and Spanish for students in grades K-12. The televised schedule aims to provide meaningful learning experiences for students at home, regardless if they have access to internet or computers.

Superintendent’s Message
“While San Bernardino County remains on the state monitoring list for COVID-19, we are resilient community that continues to move forward with services to support students and families throughout the county.” View this week’s message from Superintendent Ted Alejandre.

Business Services
Payroll completed the month-end payroll and is currently working to ensure all remaining California School Employees Association employees receive their retroactive pay by Aug. 15. Business Advisory Services is providing subject matter expertise and assistance to San Bernardino County Local Educational Agencies in the areas of year-end closing, salary disclosure reporting and other business office tasks. Mulberry County Early Education Center received a new roof system last week that will lower the exterior roof temperature by 50-60 degrees—providing a cooler environment for students and staff. In addition, the campus is being repainted and flooring is being replaced to provide a healthy, safe and vibrant learning environment. County school districts are scheduled to come by the Support Center this week to pick up hand sanitizer, cloth masks and the remainder of personal protective equipment provided by the California Office of Emergency Services.

Human Resources
Human Resources, Student Services and San Bernardino County Teachers Association have successfully agreed upon a memorandum of understanding for teachers returning to their worksite. Certified and classified employees will receive training on how to properly use PPE and disinfectants. Risk Management is working to complete its Illness Injury Protection Plan document that will soon be shared with all employees. HR and Risk Management have crafted PowerPoint presentations to present to certificated teachers and CSEA members at the Back-to-School meetings. The new teacher evaluation protocols have been shared among HR’s unit members and management staff. The new evaluation system will be more manageable and support a meaningful evaluation process.

Innovation and Engagement
This year’s San Bernardino Academic Decathlon will be held virtually, along with the state competition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. County coordinators from across the state are meeting with Student Events staff throughout the next several weeks to finalize plans to make this a wonderful experience for the decathletes. Mountain Desert Career Pathway districts received more than $3 million in grants for Career Education Programs. These funds are used to provide and support career pathways, supporting existing or emerging labor market needs across the region. With the new set of funds, MDCP is looking to include web-based industry expert chats, a virtual Behavioral Health Careers Symposium, virtual competitions and small group industry-lead mentoring for its students. On July 25, Homeless Education gave away 40,000 books and passed out Girl Scout cookies that were donated by Probation and Student Services. Innovation and Engagement is in the process of updating the Online Essential Skills platform and promoting it to partners across two counties to generate interest and endorsements.

Education Support Services
Education Support Services launched courses for Foundations of Universal Design for Learning in Elementary and Secondary on the Canvas learning platform. A distance learning course is also under development and will be published shortly. ESS published the first edition of the Early Literacy newsletter and met with community partners as well as county and district leaders to support literacy and the expansion of Footsteps2Brilliance to a second cohort of preschool sites. Two Footsteps2Brilliance teacher trainings and four family/community partnership trainings are scheduled and will be presented in English and Spanish over the next two months.

Office of the Superintendent
On July 30, Ted Alejandre participated in the Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council’s Leadership Series alongside California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Riverside County Superintendent Dr. Judy White. The event focused on the developments in remote learning and the ways state and county leadership is supporting new educational efforts for the 2020-21 academic year. Last Thursday, SBCSS staff and family members participated in a farewell celebration for two alternative education Principals. Dr. Regina Criswell from David Stine Chaffey West and Yucca Valley County Community Schools retired after 30 years in education. George Bowser from Bob Murphy County Community School retired after 40 years in education. Congratulations on this new chapter and thank you both for your years of dedication and hard work!

Student Services
An agreement was made between HR, Student Services, SBCTA and CSEA on teachers returning to their worksite. The school reopening plan will have a gradual increase in the days employees are able to return to work. Student Services team members worked diligently to develop distance learning guidelines for teachers to assist with the delivery of instruction as outlined in Senate Bill 98. As area directors continue to meet this week with teachers and paraeducators for their annual Back-to-School meetings, the document and expectations for an engaging and robust distance learning instructional program will be shared with all employees soon. County Superintendent Ted Alejandre and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Myrlene Pierre will continue to join the daily Back-to-School Zoom meetings to greet Student Services personnel and welcome the team to the 2020-2021 school year.

Technology Services
The Digital Learning Services team along with members from the Education Support Services branch and the Desert Mountain SELPA delivered an online training for the Victor Valley Union High School District teachers. The session focused on critical skills necessary for developing effective and engaging online lessons for blended and distance learning. In addition, the DLS team hosted online lesson development trainings for teachers in the San Bernardino City Unified and Fontana Unified School Districts. Over 800 teachers participated overall with 400 educators from each district. The team also conducted an advanced Google Classroom training for nearly 100 Silver Valley Unified School District employees. Using Google Classroom as a learning management system, schools will be able to deliver comprehensive lessons and learning materials to students virtually or in the classroom.

We Need You!
We want to give a special shout out to our internal and external payroll staff. Due to the nature of their work, they have been unable to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. We know this has been a challenging time. Please consider sending a note of thanks and appreciation for our dedicated Payroll staff. You can send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include “We salute Payroll” in the subject line.

We are one team, working together to transform lives. Your support of your fellow SBCSS team members during these challenging times is very much appreciated.

This is an exciting, yet challenging time of year. As we integrate back into the business of education, let’s continue to do it safely by observing social distance guidelines, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing face coverings in publics spaces and at work.

Thank you and be well.