The year 2020 has brought many changes, but what hasn’t changed is San Bernardino City Unified School District’s (SBCUSD) dedication to making sure students are learning every school day. That is why SBCUSD held its longstanding Operation Student Recovery on Tuesday, October 13 and is planning another event on December 1.
Operation Student Recovery takes a personal approach to making sure students are in class, learning. Several times a year, usually near the start of the school year and the start of a new semester, teams of SBCUSD administrators and community volunteers make personal visits to the homes of students who have not been regularly attending school. Due to COVID concerns, October 13 was the first Operation Student Recovery for the 2020–2021 school year.
“We took great care in planning this year’s Operation Student Recovery so we could still make those attempts to personally reach out to our students and families in need while making sure that we took precautions to protect everyone from COVID-19,” said Positive Youth Development Director Marlene Bicondova.
A total of 39 participants, who went out in teams of two or three, donned face coverings and traveled in separate vehicles to conduct visits to the homes of 105 students. Volunteers included SBCUSD Interim Superintendent Dr. Harold Vollkommer, several assistant superintendents and department directors, as well as local youth probation officers and community members.
The teams met with 63 families of elementary students who had not participated in distance learning since the new school year started. One particular team, Principal Dorothy Sauls and San Gorgonio High School Resource Specialist Anselmo Garcia, went above and beyond to get students enrolled and ready to join distance learning immediately. Sauls and Garcia stayed outdoors with the family to walk them through the enrollment process. Sauls drove to her school site to check out devices for the siblings and personally delivered them the same day so the students could start distance learning immediately.
“What some families may not understand is that even though learning has taken a different form this year, it is still important. Assignments are still being graded. Those grades will matter for quarter and semester grades. And those quarter and semester grades will be a major factor in whether or not a student is promoted to the next grade,” said Bicondova.
School attendance is mandatory in California, even if it is virtual. All school-age children must be enrolled in and participate in an approved educational program appropriate for their age and, in the case of Special Education students, their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This can include both live, synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning allows students to log in after the regular class time to watch video lessons or complete assignments to accommodate technology issues.
Families who are not currently enrolled in an educational program can contact SBCUSD to get enrolled immediately by visiting the District’s enrollment webpage or calling (909) 891-1010.
Community members who would like to volunteer to assist with the December 1, 2020, Operation Student Recovery should contact Positive Youth Development.