SuperintendentJames Moore,SuperintendentAdriana Mohler, Administrative Assistant x102003
Message from the SuperintendentIn all my years in education, I never imagined starting a year out, like we will be doing this year.
However, I’m still excited and eager to welcome everyone back to school, even if we can’t yet physically welcome students and families back to our campuses.
Needless to say, 2020 has already been a wild ride that has taken unexpected turns every step of the way. And we are still not sure what lies ahead.
I’ve compared the experience to the dramatic flight of Apollo 13 in 1970 that was aborted because of unforeseen circumstances. The mission to the Moon became a mission for survival. And although it was not completed as originally intended, the astronauts miraculously returned safely to Earth and President Nixon declared the mission a success.
Our mission has certainly changed as well, and it may change yet again, but our purpose remains the same. Educating students and protecting their health and safety are our top priorities. That is not only our mission, but our commitment. I have no doubt we will continue to be successful, even during turbulent times.
Before we were knocked off course, the Alta Loma School District was on track for an incredible journey. ALSD was the only school district in San Bernardino County to display “green” in all four indicators in which it was measured in the California Department of Education’s California School Dashboard.
The district ranked eighth in California over the previous school year for student improvement in math among 78 school districts of similar size and demographics, according to the statewide California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.
Fifty-eight percent of ALSD students met or exceeded CAASPP standards, registering a higher growth in math in one year than the state, county or any surrounding district. ALSD students also improved in English Language Arts.
Vineyard Junior High School became the first school in the Alta Loma School District to ever earn the Gold PBIS Implementation Award for its exceptional work in creating and nurturing a positive and collegial campus environment and culture for students and staff.
Deer Canyon Elementary School was one of just 19 elementary schools in San Bernardino County to be recognized as a California Distinguished School for 2019-2020. It was the second time in three years that Deer Canyon has earned such honors.
Deer Canyon also opened its new 11,500-square-foot classroom building in January – the first new building in the district since 1990 and the first major construction funded through the Measure H general obligation bond approved by Alta Loma voters in November 2016.
The schools improvement bond also allowed the district to complete major modernization and renovation projects at both junior high schools and to begin similar renovations at elementary schools across the district.
Things were going along so well that I announced that I would retire at the end of the last school year. COVID-19 sidetracked that plan, too, and I’ll stay on as superintendent until further notice.
As we set out into our new frontier, I thank you for your patience and your diligence. Teaching children has always been a team effort among schools and families, but more so this year than ever before. We will all have to make adjustments, but we will make the voyage together. Keep the goal in focus and our mission will be a success.
We will begin the school year with a full distance learning approach for all students, but our structure will allow us to quickly shift to a hybrid model or full return to classroom instruction if and when the situation permits. That, of course, depends on recommendations and guidance from Gov. Newsom, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Education “Stronger Together” document and San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Unfortunately, as we start the school year, San Bernardino County is among the more than 30 counties statewide that are on the state monitoring lists. But as we have seen, conditions can change in a heartbeat.
Our distance learning program will take on a different look from the spring. Instruction will be more rigorous and expectations will be higher. Most importantly, students will have daily interaction with their teachers throughout the school year. They’ll also see progress reports and grades along the way. Full details about our distance learning program are outlined on the ALSD website.
We understand that the cards we’ve been dealt mean sacrifices for all – families, students, teachers and staff. We are committed to helping as best as we can with student meals, technology support, Chrome books on loan and counseling services.
You, too, can help advance the return of students to our school campuses by taking personal responsibility for our own health, wearing face coverings in public spaces, practicing good personal hygiene and observing physical distance guidelines. Thank you.
As the world continues to navigate the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19, we hope we are soon able to return our mission to its intended path and welcome you back to school in the traditional way. In the meantime, welcome back from afar.
James B. Moore