Dear SBCSS Team,

On Aug. 31, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy took effect, which is a new framework for reducing COVID-19 in California with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on businesses and activities. The new blueprint consists of four tiers—Purple (Widespread), Red (Substantial), Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal). Every county in the state is assigned a tier based on COVID-19 test positivity and case rates. According to the new blueprint, the County of San Bernardino falls within the purple tier, which is parallel to the previous countywide monitoring list.

Beginning this week, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees Benefit Association will be awarding teachers within the region for their selfless dedication to children and for the strong partnerships developed between the sheriff’s department and schools. One $2,000 check will be distributed to 10 different schools, where eight teachers per school will be rewarded for their outstanding hard work. Thank you SEBA for your support of public education!

Superintendent’s Message
“I want to give special thanks to all of our essential workers in education, health care, law enforcement, janitorial, grocery and agricultural occupations. You have labored under challenging times to support and serve others. We truly appreciate your sacrifice and dedication.” View this week’s message.

Business Services
Departments within the Business Services branch have been providing support to Rialto Unified School District following a recent malware attack: Procurement Services moved quickly to procure loaner technology to assist the district throughout their recovery period; Internal Business and District Financial Services supported the district’s financial and payroll staff to ensure Rialto employees and vendors received pay warrants; and MOT opened the Mt. View facility to house pertinent Rialto staff. Thank you to our SBCSS team members for providing excellence in service to Rialto so the district can maintain essential functions for its students and employees.

Education Support Services
SBCSS welcomes Mr. Jim Dilday and Mr. Doug Slonkosky to interim positions in Education Support Services. Mr. Dilday—a familiar face to many at County Schools due to his work with our county student advisory panels—is serving as interim assistant superintendent following the recent retirement of Dr. Beth Higbee. Mr. Doug Slonkosky is a former County Schools’ employee and returns to serve as the interim director of Curriculum Instruction and Academic Enrichment. Let’s give them a warm SBCSS welcome! The Family and Community Engagement Summit for 2020 is going virtual. The event is open to parents, districts and community stakeholders to support student academic achievement by strengthening families and communities in the education of our youth. The Family and Community Engagement Summit takes place September 22-25 from 3-5 p.m. Registration is free.

Human Resources
Human Resources continues to work alongside SBCSS branches to recruit and hire necessary staff while supporting current employees with COVID-19-related issues. Risk Management has assured that social distancing signage has been installed at County Schools facilities as a reminder to adhere to the Center of Disease Control and health department guidelines. The Local Solutions and California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program grants are in place for our future teachers. We are looking forward to supporting our new educators!

Innovation and Engagement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be extending several flexibilities though Dec. 31. The extension will provide for summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all school children into the fall months. This will ensure children who need meals have access to nutritious foods regardless of paperwork or qualifications. On Sept. 2, Sergeant John Echevarria, public relations officer with the San Bernardino Police Department, presented to the Gangs and Drugs Task Force. Sergeant Echevarria provided a great overview on several programs within the department, working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, active recruitment for new officers and updates on peaceful protests and positive engagement through community policing. The 2021 Mock Trial has 22 teams signed up so far for the first virtual Mock Trial student competition. If you are interested in volunteering for the Mock Trial or any upcoming student event, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Office of the Superintendent
County Superintendent Ted Alejandre participated in a panel discussion hosted by Congressman Peter Aguilar on Sept. 1. The discussion focused on the importance of providing resources for students and families within the Inland Empire; to help them overcome the challenges they may be facing through this pandemic. In partnership with the County Department of Veterans Affairs, SBCSS is sponsoring the 12th annual Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project—an opportunity to provide veterans and internees whose high school education was interrupted due to military service or internment, a high school diploma as authorized through the California Education Code. The deadline to apply is Monday, Oct. 5. For information, visit the County Schools’ Veterans Diploma Project website.

Student Services
With the 2020-21 academic school year moving forward in a virtual format for most San Bernardino County school districts, Student Services continues to work with Technology Services to respond quickly to student or staff requests for devices. SS staff continues to communicate on a frequent basis with families and connects with students on a daily basis. These types of interactions have led to an increase in student participation, attendance and engagement! Teachers and itinerant service providers are documenting both synchronous and asynchronous instruction aligned to individual student educational programs, instructional needs and SB 98 requirements. Principals are observing and supporting virtual instruction and documenting innovative and engaging practices. The entire SS team continues to work collaboratively to promote a robust instructional program for all students.

Technology Services
As of Sept. 2, our service-centered Technical Services staff has assisted Student Services with the preparation and delivery of more than 110 T-Mobile hot spots and 517 student devices to be used for distance learning. TS representatives also have been working closely with Rialto Unified district staff to assist in their recovery from a serious malware attack. The district is slowly recovering and has been able to restart online distance learning for many of its students. The Digital Learning Services team hosted another Webisode Wednesday session. More than 60 educators from schools throughout the county, including several UCR instructors, participated in the webinar. This week’s topic covered the concepts of online play and how to incorporate periods of play into online and distance learning environments.

We Need You!
The 2020 census is happening now! It aims to count the entire population of a county, so that each region receives the proper amount of federal funding for communities, schools, social programs and city maintenance. In San Bernardino County, there are more than 70 percent of children who are economically disadvantaged. Being counted helps create resources for those children. Our federal, state and local officials and education and community leaders are working together to create a better quality of life for San Bernardino County residents. You can take part in helping your community by completing the census online, by phone or by mail. The deadline to be counted is Sept. 30.

Be counted and be well!