RUSD earns eight of 18 Green Ribbon Awards from California Department of Education

On April 22, 2021, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tony Thurmond announced that 21 schools, overall, earned the 2021 California Green Ribbon Schools awards. Of the 18 public schools earning Green Ribbon recognitions, Rialto Unified School District dominated the list with eight RUSD schools honored at the gold, silver, or bronze level. Morris Elementary School, Jehue and Rialto Middle Schools, and Milor High School earned the State’s Gold Level honors. Kelley, Kordyak, and Trapp Elementary Schools earned the State’s Silver Level honors, and Eisenhower High School earned the State’s Bronze Level honors. Going green is a team effort in the Rialto Unified School District with several departments working together with schools to help the District garner an outstanding eight California Green Ribbon Schools awards. Support comes from teachers, administrators, and the Education and Business Services departments to deliver rich environmental education to benefit students. Here, Juanita Chan (left), STEM and College and Careers Pathway Coordinator, and Fausat Rahman-Davies, Agent of Nutrition Services, pick oranges in one of the gardens in the RUSD. Those oranges were eventually delivered to students in the District’s meal service…

Middle College named a California Distinguished School

San Bernardino City Unified School District’s Middle College High School (MCHS) has been named a California Distinguished School. “What an honor to be selected as a California Distinguished School for 2021,” MCHS Principal James Espinoza said. “We couldn’t have achieved this level of distinction nor been able to sustain and expand successes for our MCHS community scholars without leadership from the top and support for our learning model. We are also so appreciative of the commitment of our scholars, their families, and our selfless and talented teachers and staff, not to mention our amazing partners from San Bernardino Valley College.” MCHS previously earned a Distinguished School Award in 2007. The school is also a National Blue Ribbon School honoree, an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction, and a California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC) Signature Practice School of Distinction. Since opening in 2001, Middle College has offered SBCUSD high school students a chance to take both high school and community college courses at the same time, with the potential to earn an associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. Unlike most of…

My journey at SBVC

August 2015 to March 2021 was the time duration of my journey at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). For most students, community college is a two-year gig, but for me, it went a little differently and I wouldn’t change it for anything. As an 18-year-old attending SBVC full time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do academically or professionally. Instead of attending class, I would work or just do something that was not school-related. I literally only passed one class out of five during my first semester. After taking a year off, I was placed on academic probation due to my grade point average. I eased my way back into college, taking one class in the evening of spring of 2017. At this point, I still didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do in life, but I knew college was going to be the route I would take. I quit my full-time job and took a class over the summer, I was still easing my way in. In the fall of 2017, I made the baseball team and took three classes…

Rialto Unified School District’s Edgar Montes is a Distinguished Service Award honoree

Rialto Unified School District Board of Education Vice President Edgar Montes was awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” from the San Bernardino County School Board Association and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools on April 26 at the district’s Spring Awards Ceremony. Montes, who was first elected to the RUSD Board of Education in 2010, is being recognized as an educator/school board member who has made a positive, direct, ongoing impact on significant segments of public education. “I’m very honored to be receiving this recognition. After serving the community for a number of years it’s great to know that all of my work in the community is making an impact,” said Montes. Just a couple of Montes’ other titles include activist (since the ’90s), small business leader, Rialto Lions Club service member, philanthropist, and standout high school graduate from Fontana Unified School District. “I got my start by supporting progressive movements in the 1990s. People told me rather than protesting that it’s easier to run for office and make a difference from the inside out. So that’s what I chose to do for parents, students and…

Empire KVCR allocated $377,000 in COVID-19 relief

Rep. Pete Aguilar announced today that Empire KVCR, a public radio and television station operated by the San Bernardino Community College District, has received $377,529 in federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a congressionally-chartered nonprofit agency. The funding was made available through the American Rescue Plan, President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ landmark COVID-19 relief package. “I helped pass the American Rescue Plan because every corner of our community has felt the effects of this crisis, and we need real relief. Inland Empire residents deserve to have access to local public news sources like the ones KVCR provides, and I’m proud to have supported this funding to help them maintain their operation and offset lost revenues as a result of the pandemic,” said Aguilar. “Like so many in our community, KVCR has had a very challenging year, and these funds will help us tremendously in getting through it. We are grateful to Congressman Aguilar and our federal policymakers for making these funds possible, so the San Bernardino Community College District’s KVCR station continues providing daily local news, information, and educational radio and TV programming…

DREAMer student credits SBVC as crucial step in journey to UC Berkeley

Rialto resident Vanessa Mendoza, 26, wanted to study literature, write novels, and possibly even become an English professor, but that all changed after her first cultural anthropology class. At the end of her first year at San Bernardino Valley College, Mendoza began experiencing vertigo spells and migraines. They became chronic, and for almost a year, she was unable to attend classes on campus. During this time, Mendoza says she “began to question and think about the social circumstances that made it difficult for me to obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment.” Mendoza signed up for an online cultural anthropology course, and upon its conclusion, “felt that I had finally found a lens through which I could understand myself and my experiences related to culture and health.” When she was well enough to return to campus, she enrolled in more anthropology classes, and Professor Melissa King introduced her to other branches of study. “Through her classes and mentorship, I came across something called medical anthropology, which further confirmed that this was the major I wished to pursue,” Mendoza said. “This branch of anthropology deals with the…

Valley District signs on to new Water and Wastewater Career Pathways Initiative

Local water and wastewater agencies have come together to launch a new initiative that will address the need for well-qualified water and wastewater workers to fill current and future jobs. The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District has joined the solution, formally signing a Charter to join the Inland Empire Water Wastewater Apprenticeship Pathways Collaborative – also known as IEWorks. The purpose of IEWorks is to create a unified voice for Inland Empire water and wastewater agencies in their workforce development plans across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. By working together, agencies throughout the region can develop and implement strategies that support the development of high-performance workers. This will be accomplished through apprenticeships, internships, pre-apprenticeships, and career awareness programs. “In an effort to meet the critical Water Industry Job needs of our customers now and in the future, we must help create and support a career pathway or ‘pipeline’ of qualified, well-trained, and hard-working dedicated individuals,” commented Gil Botello, Valley District Board Member. “The crucial work performed by water and wastewater agency staff that often goes unnoticed is essential to ensuring good health and well-being…

Colton Joint Unified School District receives a $78,545 grant to elevate school meal participation

No Kid Hungry awarded Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD) a $78,545 grant in March 2021 to increase school meal participation, to serve meals to hard-to-reach students, and provide school nutrition staff with necessary materials such as personal protective equipment and portable tents to ensure safe meal distribution. Another exciting component to the grant is that it provides enough bandwidth that when classes return to in-person learning, it will assist the district in reinstating its Gran N Go Meal Carts and breakfast in the classroom initiative. “COVID-19 has caused a severe disruption in normal meal services. COVID forced us to design a new way of packaging and delivering meals with as minimal contact as possible. We made so many program changes that community outreach became a large area of opportunity. We also started serving meals at a local motel to our students who reside there, this gave us an opportunity to have a high visible delivery van to bring some normalcy to the area,” said CJUSD Director of Nutrition Services Eric Enciso. When schools across the state closed on March 13, 2021, CJUSD nutrition services was quick to pivot…

Registration open for Rialto Adult School

What are you waiting for? It is so easy for adult students to advance their education by earning a high school diploma or GED. And Rialto Unified School District is making it even easier. The Rialto Adult School (RAS) is enrolling students each week, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit RAS at 324 N. Palm Ave., building G-1 in Rialto, or call (909) 879-6010 to start the process. It’s simple and registration forms can be completed and turned in on the same day. Interested students can also visit https://kec.rialto.k12.ca.us/ae for more information. Great things are happening at RAS, and you should join. “Now is an exciting time to participate in the wonderful world of Adult Education, take this opportunity to achieve your educational goals,” Rialto Adult School Principal Kimberly Watson said. “We have more than tripled our graduation rate and doubled the number of students participating in the program. Join us at RAS. We are excited to welcome you to our school.” Classes are currently being held virtually, although learning packets available for anyone not comfortable with online learning. Morning and…

SBCCD trains students for one of California’s most hazardous jobs

Nine students graduated at the San Bernardino Community College District after training for a career that few people would even be willing to try. Basically, it involves handling a chainsaw while maneuvering around fully grown trees near utility lines. No problem, right? Not for San Bernardino resident Jesus Romero, 25, who said he likes the idea of working in a tree because it sets him apart. “Your office is outside,” he said after the graduation ceremony. “I don’t know how other people see it, but as long as I’m outside, that is enough for me.” In their 200 hours of training, class instructors set about “getting students comfortable with heights, with firmly attaching themselves, with moving about, and with rescues of other workers,” said William Burley, the lead trainer and an employee of Mowbray’s Tree Service in San Bernardino, one of the employers for the new graduates. Safety is paramount, Burley said, since statistics show that this can be one of California’s most hazardous jobs. But someone has to prevent forest fires, right? So high-quality training is the priority.  The San Bernardino Community College District agreed to lead the…

Obershaw family increases SBVC Student Scholarship Endowment to over $600,000

San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) students will now have more scholarship support available to help them achieve their career goals, thanks to the generosity of Charles “Chuck” Obershaw (1926-2019) and his wife, Shelby Obershaw, long-time SBVC benefactors and community leaders. The Chuck Obershaw Estate recently gifted more than $370,000 to an existing Obershaw endowment at the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation, expanding it to over $600,000. Proceeds from this endowment will provide 30 $1,000 scholarships annually for students pursuing careers in automotive, business, and entrepreneurship at SBVC. SBVC students can apply for these scholarships during the Foundation’s regular scholarship application period from October 1 to January 31 of every year. There are no citizenship requirements for students to apply for scholarship opportunities. A proud SBVC alumnus, Chuck was a lifelong learner and advocate for higher education throughout the Inland Empire. The Obershaw family has donated generously to numerous local educational institutions, including San Bernardino City Unified School District, Cal State San Bernardino, and SBVC. As the former owner and CEO of Chuck Obershaw Toyota in San Bernardino, Chuck was a successful businessman and investor. He…

Richardson PREP HI Middle School in San Bernardino earns ninth CA Distinguished School Award

The students and staff at Richardson PREP HI Middle School have earned the California Distinguished School Award for the ninth time in the school’s history. “Richardson’s long history of being a Distinguished School is proof that our success is due to more than just the efforts of one staff member or a handful of students,” said Richardson Principal Jenny (Paige) Vetere. “It’s the proof that our high standards for staff, students, and parents, including requirements for good attendance and behavior at all times and fostering a positive and caring school environment, have long-term academic impacts.” The California Distinguished School Award recognizes schools for exceptional student performance for two consecutive years or for closing the achievement gap between two school years. The data used to evaluate schools for the award comes from the California School Dashboard. Richardson’s 2019 Dashboard results show the average math score for all students was 64.4 points above the standard. Additionally, English Learner students, as a group, scored 62.2 points above the standard in English/language arts. Students at this San Bernardino City Unified School District magnet school surpassed the state’s metrics in…

California Dolphin