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Dear SBCSS Team,

Last week, the California Department of Public Health released new guidance on returning to work following COVID-19 diagnosis and on small cohorts/groups of children and youth. CDPH also provided guidance on COVID-19 case and contact management with childcare facilities. The new forms of guidance aim at providing more information on areas of big concern and on areas that are not fully addressed in the Center of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Superintendent’s Message
“And topping out the week, it was with great joy that our Student Services Class of 2020 graduates were presented their high school diplomas in a drive-through commencement ceremony attended by their principals, teachers and families. We could not be prouder of the accomplishments of our students.” View this week’s message.

Business Services
Maintenance Operations and Transportation is working with Risk Management and Student Services in reopening California Children’s Services at Lucy E. Siegrist School in Hesperia. CCS is a state program for children with certain health issues. MOT is assisting with parking, directional signs, closure of waiting rooms and installation of partitions that will separate CCS and SBCSS staff. Procurement continues to work with Risk Management to provide protective personal equipment, signage and safety supplies for our SBCSS staff returning to work. Business Advisory Services is preparing, reviewing and updating district cashflows for 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. BAS will begin reviewing unaudited actual reports, which must be completed and submitted to the California Department of Education by Oct. 15.

Human Resources
Human Resources has been working on providing training for the Laserfiche electronic requisition form to ensure that all management, generators and approvers are thoroughly up to speed on this new system. HR is in the process of planning for the upcoming Personnel Administrators meeting. This countywide meeting provides vital professional development as well as valuable opportunities to collaborate on best practices. The branch also will hold unemployment workshops on Sept. 15 and 22 that will provide an overview of efficient claims processing.

Student Services
On Aug. 28, Student Services held a drive-through Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020. The event was held at Barbara Phelps County Community School to honor our graduating seniors. The graduation planning committee works all year to plan the event that recognizes alternative education students for their hard work and resiliency. Thank you to the planning committee for its dedication and teamwork. It was a memorable celebration for students, families and staff. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Innovation and Engagement
Last week, Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Engagement Stephanie Houston participated in the One Simple Question project. The project engages with people from all over the world with one simple question: “What do you do to lift yourself up when you are feeling down?” The idea is to illustrate how everyone feels down sometimes, and that we each cope with our feelings in different ways. The seventh annual SBCSS Reading Rally kicks off tomorrow, Sept. 1, with a month full of readings from community members, weekly reading challenges and resources for parents and teachers. Thank you to everyone who submitted a video to the student events team. Child Welfare and Attendance is preparing for an upcoming webinar titled “School Records Workshop” that will be hosted by the Director of Children Deserve Success Don English and by Sherman Garnett of Garnett & Associates. It is scheduled for Sept. 30. Registration is now open. The Gangs and Drugs Task Force has been busy preparing for its upcoming Safety Summit on Oct. 15. The next GDTF general meeting will be on Sept. 2 at 8 a.m., followed by an executive board meeting on Sept. 9 at 7:30 a.m.

Education Support Services
Education Support Services continues to review the Learning Continuity and Attendance plans. On Aug. 25, ESS presented its California English Learner Roadmap, which looks at strengthening educational policy programs and practices for English Learners. The webinar was an overall success with powerful conversations and great developments. This last week, SBCSS celebrated the retirement of Beth Higbee, assistant superintendent of Education Support Services. Thank you for your 40 years of service in education. Good luck on your new journey!

Office of the Superintendent
Educators, administrators and community members from San Bernardino County participated Aug. 27 in “Equity Minded: Challenges Facing Vulnerable Students.” The webinar was the third in a series related to addressing issues of equity in public schools. County Superintendent Ted Alejandre encouraged attendees to continue this important work. Colton Joint Unified School District Superintendent Frank Miranda hosted the virtual CJUSD Community Cabinet meeting on Aug. 26. The County Superintendent participated along with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Director Corwin Porter and Dr. Troy Pennington from Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. The superintendent provided updates on school frameworks for reopening and the collective partnerships with school districts across the county. Porter and Pennington shared the latest updates on public health in San Bernardino County.

Technology Services
The Digital Learning Services team led the EdTech Coaches Network meeting in collaboration with the Riverside County of Education. More than 50 EdTech coaches and teachers on special assignment collaborated on how to best support our educators and districts throughout our region with distance learning. The team has also been busy working with Technology Services on the preparations for our SBCSS eSports Virtual League. It will consist of safe, fun virtual tournaments for students on a monthly basis. The first pilot tournament with students will be held later in month. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We Need You!
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the physical and mental health of our communities. Challenges created by feelings of isolation and anxiety can be difficult to detect. There are efforts to destigmatize the need to seek counseling or support. September is National Suicide Awareness Month. This year’s suicideprevention week is Sept. 6-12. Innovation and Engagement’s Healthy SBCSS initiative will share tools and resources to encourage communication for improved mental health. SBCSS offers free counseling support without the need for a referral using the Employee Assistance Program provided by Health Advocate. To make an appointment for a counselor in your area, call 1.866.799.2728

Thank you to everyone who sent in a photo of their new, fun virtual classrooms. It is inspiring to see individuals being creative with their new distance learning environments. Keep up the positive efforts!

As a reminder, our offices will be closed on Sept. 7 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. We hope you enjoy this holiday weekend while hopefully practicing social distancing, washing your hands and wearing face coverings in public spaces.

Each of you are valued members of the SBCSS family. We need you. Stay safe and stay well.