July 19, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

San Bernardino School District proactive in encouraging students to attend class

3 min read

Photo MJ Duncan: Youth Services Bilingual Attendant Adrian Islas reaching out to a truant student's family during a prior Operation Student Recovery in 2019.

The results are in on San Bernardino City Unified School District’s Operation Student Recovery (OSR) 1000, which was held on February 23, 2021. The program boasted a 77 percent success rate, with a total of 806 previously absent or truant students returning to distance learning regularly for the following week.

Operation Student Recovery (OSR) is designed to take a proactive approach to supporting students who are not regularly attending class. Near the start of the school year and the start of a new semester, teams of SBCUSD administrators and community volunteers visit the homes of truant students to personally invite them back to school and offer assistance in overcoming whatever barriers are preventing their attendance.

On February 23, more than 165 volunteers wearing personal protective equipment visited the homes of 1,045 SBCUSD students. This included 102 homeless students, 14 foster youth, 234 English learners, and 360 African-American students. A total of 40 students received immediate technical assistance. Other students received medical and mental health referrals, and some families received food assistance.

In at least one case, a District team was flagged down by the family of a student not on the visitation list, but the team took time to provide some much needed information.

“OSR is just one part of our overall commitment to reach students and families where they are and help them move forward,” said Positive Youth Development Director Marlene Bicondova. 

Even before OSR 1000, the California PBIS Coalition recognized that SBCUSD schools care about students and families. Back in November 2020, the coalition honored 37 schools and 1 program for successfully developing systems to support student social-emotional behavior and academic success.

The PBIS program is part of SBCUSD’s overall school Climate and Culture systems. The focus of Climate and Culture is to create learning environments that foster safety, connection, and learning. Staff analyze data and implement evidence-based practices to help students address trauma, develop positive relationships, and learn how to navigate and engage in learning.

At its core, PBIS is based on the belief that all students can learn how to behave. As a result, a PBIS system is founded on three components: proactive, instructive, and restorative. To be proactive, schools teach expectations before misbehaviors occur so students know early what is expected of them. To be instructive, school staff model, teach, acknowledge and correct student behaviors. Lastly, to be restorative, school staff develop, maintain, and repair relationships with students to ensure they stay connected.

The 37 SBCUSD schools and 1 program that earned a prestigious PBIS Community Cares Award were: Arroyo Valley, Cajon, Indian Springs, Pacific, San Andreas, San Bernardino, San Gorgonio, and Sierra High Schools; Arrowview, Curtis, Golden Valley, King, and Serrano Middle Schools; Paakuma’ K-8 School; Anton, Belvedere, Bradley, Brown, Cole, Davidson, Del Rosa, Fairfax, Hillside, Hunt, Jones, Kendall, Lankershim, Lincoln, Monterey, North Verdemont, Parkside, Ramona-Alessandro, Riley, Urbita, Warm Springs, Wilson, and Bing Wong Elementary Schools; and SBCUSD Child Development Program.

The newly created Community Cares Award recognizes efforts made by schools to maintain a positive culture and climate during the COVID-19 closure.

“Developing a positive climate and culture at all SBCUSD schools is essential at any time, but it is especially important during the COVID shutdowns that we help our students to develop the social-emotional competencies that will help them weather this storm,” said Colleen Williams, director of Student Wellness & Support Services. “This systematic approach will allow students and staff to focus on the academic tasks to succeed in school and be prepared for a bright future.”


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