Dear SBCSS Team,

Last week many schools within San Bernardino County had their first day of school. It was both an exciting and challenging kick-off to the 2020-21 school year, with many new opportunities to learn within new digital environments. Student Services and Technical Services worked together to distribute 84 Chromebooks and/or mobile hotspots to students in county-operated programs. Working collectively Student Services and Technical Services have issued 294 devices to SBCSS students since the start of the school year.

On Friday, Aug. 14, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order calling upon state agencies across government to bridge the digital divide, building on efforts to provide computing devices and hotspots to students across the state.

The Norton Science and Language Academy county charter broke ground this last week on a new campus expansion. Superintendent Alejandre congratulated school administrators on the new site, which will allow the school to grow from grades TK through 8th grade to TK through 12th grade.

Superintendent’s Message
“To all parents and families, I want to say thank you for your support. Your efforts will have a direct impact on the success of your student.” View this week’s message.

Business Services
Procurement Services continues to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for staff returning to work and for students when in-person instruction can begin. The Support Center received the final shipment of PPE supplies from the Office of Emergency Services last week and will be distributing them to all districts within the following week. Over the past month, Maintenance Operations and Transportation has been working on its project of resurfacing the roofs of county classrooms. Business Advisory Services (BAS) is reviewing district budgets to determine the status and solvency of our districts. So far, BAS has approved 25 of the 35 districts and ROP budgets.

Education Support Services
In collaboration with Los Angeles, Monterey and Santa Clara County Offices of Education, Education Support Services’ (ESS) secondary math coordinator hosted two webinars on the Hands-on Learning in a Digital World: Middle and High School Mathematics. ESS’ elementary math coordinator hosted a distance learning consortium webinar to 350 participants on the SBCSS Canvas project. More than 80 history teachers participated in the first History After Dark Community Practice, which was hosted by the ESS’ history coordinator and the Region 10 Content, Literacy, Inquiry, Citizenship team. AVID coaches began the beginning of the year process of reaching out to all AVID district liaisons, administrators and teachers to offer support and updates, reestablish connections and forge new ones, and schedule online classroom visits and support meetings.

Human Resources
Health Advocate will be hosting a webinar on how to manage one’s emotional and mental health. The webinar is free and will be available at 10:15 a.m. (ET) or 4:15 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 20. Human Resources continues to work tirelessly to ensure that SBCSS is in alignment with CDC health and safety guidelines and that each manager has the tools and documentation needed to properly respond in a timely and efficient manner to all employees’ questions and concerns.

Innovation and Engagement
On Aug. 6, Innovation and Engagement (IE) staff provided training to the SBCSS Student Services clinicians on educational rights for homeless students and those living in foster care. The teams shared and reviewed a variety of resources to support at-risk student populations. Region 10 - Riverside, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino (RIMS) will be hosting a virtual school/district Tobacco Use and Prevention Education kick-off event on Sept. 2 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The event is designed to provide participants with the latest and most up-to-date information related to tobacco use prevention and education. Those interested must register by Aug. 31.

Office of the Superintendent
County Superintendent Ted Alejandre and County Board of Education members Hardy Brown II and Laura Mancha participated in an excellent panel discussion about the current state of education across the county with members from the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 13. San Bernardino County Preschool Services Department hosted its 11th Annual Preservice Conference on Aug. 13 with more than 600 attendees. Superintendent Alejandre welcomed participants and provided key updates relative to work in support of early education in San Bernardino County.

Student Services
The Desert/Mountain Operations principals, managers and teachers received a donation of more than 100 prom dresses from Macy’s in Victorville this last week. These prom dresses will be provided to SBCSS Desert/Mountain Operations students attending the winter and spring celebrations and dances. The 2020 graduation committee met on Aug. 13 to discuss SBCSS community schools’ graduation ceremony. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event will be a drive-thru at Barbara Phelps County Community School on Aug. 28. In order to maintain social distancing, three ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. A photo station will be set up as well for students who have not yet had their senior portrait taken by the Communication staff.

Technology Services
The Digital Learning Services (DSL) team conducted an online professional development session for 75 Rim of the World Unified teachers. The session covered Google Classroom, Zoom and Screencastify, which are all useful tools to help reach students while the districts engage in distance learning. More than 500 Morongo Unified educators participated in a multi-day training provided by the DSL team on digital citizenship, online lesson design, and considerations for students with special needs and English language learners.

We Need You!
Please continue to follow all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines by observing social distancing of 6 feet or more, practicing good hygiene by washing hands for 20 seconds or more and wearing a face covering while in public spaces and at work. Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all serve a role in keeping our communities and colleagues healthy and safe. During these trying times, let’s encourage, uplift and strengthen one another. Positive energy can at times be the best defense to boosting our overall wellness and happiness.

Thank you and be well.