Education

Community mourns loss of exceptional educator Charles W. Grande

On behalf of the Rialto Unified School District Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Avila, it is with considerable sadness that we announce the passing of long-time educator, and Eisenhower High School teaching legend, Mr. Charles Wesley Grande. Mr. Grande passed on November 23, 2020, in Bryan, Texas, at the age of 89. He was considered by thousands of former students and colleagues as one of the most passionate and impactful high school classroom educators/coaches in RUSD history.  Mr. Grande was born on July 21, 1931, in the city of Riverside. He attended Whittier College and earned his BA in Religion from Boston University, where one of his theology classmates was the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our father was exceptional. He showed up every day, dedicating his life to the service of his students, generation upon generation. He changed people, gave us options we didn’t know we had. We will miss him,” replied his son, Dr. Robert Grande on behalf of the Grande Family.  Mr. Grande was hired as a classroom history teacher at Eisenhower High School in September of 1964. He retired in January of 2001. In his remarkable education career, he led the Mock Trial team (1993 until 1999) to a championship and expected the most out of his students. If that…

Bank of America awards Riverside City College $1 million for jobs initiative

Riverside City College (RCC) and Bank of America announced recently a new $1 million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on their path to success in Southern California. This grant is part of Bank of America’s ongoing work in the region to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.    “We remain committed to helping address the barriers to sustainable employment that exist for many communities of color,” said Bank of America Inland Empire market president Al Argüello. “This program helps support Black and Hispanic-Latino students by creating a collaborative approach to job training that will enable them to make a real and meaningful impact in their communities now and over the years ahead.” “This generous grant from the Bank of America reflects our long-standing partnership, united as we are in providing opportunity to students and strengthening the regional economy,” RCC President Gregory Anderson said. “This gift will streamline pathways to academic and career success, particularly for students of color.” This year, the…

U of R holds virtual conference on ‘Business in a Changing World’

The public is invited to attend and participate in “Business in a Changing World – Redlands Business Day 2020, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5. This virtual summit is hosted by the University of Redlands and will bring together industry experts and University of Redlands School of Business faculty to reflect on what we’ve seen and learned from the social and economic challenges of 2020 and what to expect as we look to 2021. The day of insights, ideas, and key learnings will include more than 12 different sessions covering everything from diversity, equity, and inclusion to work in a post-COVID19 world. “Nothing about business in 2020 was business as usual,” said Thomas Horan, dean of the University of Redlands School of Business. “With the pandemic, social and political unrest, and economic upheaval, 2020 was a turbulent year for many. We hope to share observations, examples of success stories, and helpful information that will be insightful for business professionals and the general public as we look to what the future holds.” The day will include sessions with outside experts, business leaders, authors,…

Crafton Hills College Foundation launches ‘Because Of You’ fundraising campaign to raise $1 million unrestricted endowment

The Crafton Hills College (CHC) Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to raise a $1 million unrestricted endowment before the college celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. The slogan “Because of You…” was chosen to communicate the impact financial assistance makes in the lives of students.  Success stories of CHC students and alumni are used to demonstrate the benefits of support.  “It is rewarding to highlight the stories of alumni whose lives have changed through their connection to CHC,” stated CHC President Dr. Kevin Horan.  The campaign comes at a pivotal time in the College’s history. Dr. Horan, who joined CHC as its President in January of 2019, immediately recognized the role the Foundation plays in piloting innovative programs, supporting students, and helping the College adapt to the ever-changing needs of the campus.  “Our community depends on Crafton to produce a well-educated and trained workforce to strengthen the economy,” Horan stated. Crafton awards more than 1,000 degrees and certificates annually. “Our alumni are the childcare professionals, teachers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and other essential professionals in our communities.”In discussing the role of the Foundation, Horan explained that…

Ayala retires after 12 years of service on Rialto Board of Education

Mr. Joseph Ayala is retiring from the Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Education after 12 years of service to the community. Ayala credits former Congressman Joe Baca, Sr. for inspiring him to embark on this public service journey shortly before his retirement from Baldwin Park Unified where he taught for 34 years. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve, and confident the school board will continue to move Rialto in the right direction,” Ayala remarked. “I’m not leaving under bad terms or ill will, I wanted to make sure that I had that opportunity that things went smooth so that when I left I would feel good about myself and everything I did for the community.” According to Ayala, who began his tenure in 2008, the board’s most important decision is to find a competent superintendent that is compatible with the community.  Photo RUSD: Joseph Ayala, RUSD Board President (at the time) honored United Farmworkers and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta during the renaming ceremony for the RUSD Cesar Chavez/Dolores Huerta Center of Education in March 2010. Ayala voted in favor of dedicating…

San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education votes to remain in distance learning through June 2021

The Board of Education of the San Bernardino City Unified School District on Tuesday voted to keep all students in distance learning for the remainder of the current school year, which ends in June 2021. The governing body of California’s eighth largest school district took action on November 17 after carefully weighing local COVID-19 figures that show the virus is spreading at alarming rates and families living in its attendance boundaries are especially at risk. San Bernardino County is among those in the state that have experienced drastically increasing COVID-19 cases, forcing it to remain in the purple tier. The Board’s decision is consistent with its steadfast commitment to safety for students and employees. This decision will enable District staff to focus greater resources toward strengthening distance learning while also allowing families to better plan. As part of their decision, in-person accommodations for small groups of students with specifically identified educational needs will be offered when the Board deems it safe to do so. This in-person support is allowable under public health guidance from the state. This is the second time since the March statewide…

SBCCD Board Chair Anne Viricel appointed to California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus

Dr. Anne Viricel, Chair of the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees, has been appointed to the California Community College Women’s Caucus Advisory Committee, a consortium of women serving on community college boards who work to empower women.   Established earlier this year, the self-governing caucus met during the summer to set goals related to recognizing women’s contributions to higher education, supporting leadership development, and advancing career opportunities and pay equity.  “I’m excited to work with leaders from across California on our shared priorities,” Viricel said. “The chance to help open more doors of opportunity for women in higher education is a great honor.” The caucus hopes to build a California Community College Women’s Resource Directory, which will help identify women who want to be considered for leadership opportunities and create a mentoring network to help all women in the California Community College leadership pipeline. The Women’s Caucus will meet at the Community College League of California’s 2020 Annual Convention, held virtually Nov. 17, 2020. Viricel was appointed to fill a Board of Trustees vacancy in 2015, then elected to the position in November…

Crafton Hills College Tech Success Center answers growing challenges of digital learning

The Technology Success Center (TSC) at Crafton Hills College (CHC) is dedicated to creating pathways using technology to meet the learning needs of students and faculty. A part of the Disabled Students and Programs Services (DSPS) Department, the Center’s purpose is to create equal access for students, which is a need that has expanded this year with mandatory distance learning. “Our goal is to leverage COVID-19 by integrating key technologies in a way that would take us safely into our ‘new normal,’” said Suzanne Delahanty, alternative media and assistive technology specialist at CHC. “COVID was a turning point; it justified a drastic rethinking of how we train and support students and faculty. Overnight, we had to identify how to leverage available technologies, to not just technologically transform traditional training and support methods, but also improve them. Going entirely remote provided us with the rare opportunity to quickly research and invest in promising virtual technology that will undoubtedly continue to support our college for years to come.” Delahanty estimates that since the initial campus closures due to the pandemic, the Center has served more than 500…

Rialto Unified Child Nutrition hosts drive-thru barbeque

Rialto Child Nutrition has taken drive-thru service to a new level.  On Tuesday, October 27th nearly 1,000 cars turned out for our BBQ Spooktacular.  Serving 2,500 kids a two-day meal pack that included 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches brought the daily meal total to an astounding 10,000 meals served at this one location. Pulling into the parking lot at Rialto Middle School the smell of barbequed burgers, sounds of music, and the echoes of happy children could be heard all around. All kids 1-18 years received a BBQ Western Cheeseburger lunch that was made with homemade sauce. Meals also included fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk.  Every car was provided two USDA Farmer to Families food boxes (dairy, meat, eggs, cheese, milk and produce), slushies for every child (100% fruit juice), and fun activities supporting nutrition education. As families drove through the event they were transported into a Halloween filled zone that was fun for the whole family. The tooth fairy even made an appearance passing out toothbrushes and toothpaste to encourage kids to practice good oral health.  The post Rialto Unified Child Nutrition hosts drive-thru barbeque…

County Distinguished Service Awards to Fischer, Funchess

San Bernardino County educator and philanthropist Cheryl Fischer, and Director of Human Resources Marcus Funchess, in San Bernardino City Unified School District are the recipients this year of the San Bernardino County Distinguished Service Award. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be honored on October 30 in a virtual format in place of an in-person event. They are the 38th and 39th recipients of the award. For the past 23 years, the countywide Distinguished Service Award has celebrated exceptional and distinguished service. The purpose of the award is to recognize dedication and leadership on behalf of public education in the county. Up to two recipients may be selected annually. Dr. Cheryl Fischer has devoted her life to education, community service and philanthropy in San Bernardino and the Inland Empire. She began her county career in the San Bernardino City Unified School District in 1978 as a coordinator of instruction. She continued her growth as an educational leader and served as the assistant superintendent of instruction in the Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District from 1982-1990. Fischer began her tenure at California State University, San Bernardino in…

San Bernardino City Unified School District conducts Operation Recovery with COVID precautions

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…

San Bernardino Valley College to receive historic donation for emergency scholarships

San Bernardino Valley College has been invited to apply for part of a historic $100 million donation to California community colleges by the Jay Pritzker Foundation, along with 34 fellow colleges in the Inland Empire, Central Valley and Far North of the state. The unprecedented donation—the largest ever made to a community college system—will be distributed over a 20-year period and is intended “to help eliminate regional educational gaps through distribution of emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected hardships and scholarships to students who are well on their way toward a finish line goal of transferring to a college or university or completing a certificate or degree.” Dan and Karen Pritzker, trustees of the Jay Pritzker Foundation, said in a virtual press conference that they have seen the outstanding benefits of a community college education firsthand through their own daughter, who completed her first two years of undergraduate education at a community college before transferring to UC Berkeley. “We are immeasurably thankful to the Jay Pritzker Foundation for their generosity to our students and community,” said SBVC President Diana Z. Rodriguez. “Although many barriers…

Trapp Elementary School program specialist hand-making desks for students

Daniel Cuevas, program specialist at Trapp Elementary School, has been busy hand-making desks for students in Rialto and around the greater community. In September, Cuevas came across a newspaper article in regard to a laid-off tech worker, Chai Hansanuwat, of Chino, who had lent his time and energy to making over 300 desks for students participating in distance learning across Southern California. “I came across the newspaper article and I contacted him. I immediately began helping out because I understand a student’s need for a desk at home to stay organized and maintain the focus through distance learning,” said Cuevas. Daniel with daughter Athena building desks that will be distributed to students for free to enhance distance learning. To date, Cuevas and his assistants – his children – have hand-made 11 desks for distance learning students at Trapp Elementary and 18 desks for students in other cities across the region. “Hansanuwat’s desk-making initiative has led to a group of 26 of us throughout Southern California coordinating the initiative in our very own communities. Working and living in Rialto, I have seen and heard about our…

IEHP awards annual scholarship to CUSM students who commit to serve regional disadvantaged communities

The Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), part of an expanding network of private-public collaborations in support of the mission of the California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM), has committed a $1.2 million annual donation to help eliminate medical school debt for medical students who pledge to serve needy communities in the region upon graduation. Leaders of IEHP and CUSM, which was founded by Dr. Prem Reddy and the Prime Healthcare Foundation, said the donation is an example of the type of philanthropy that can make an impact on the long-term health of communities while furthering the mission of the medical school: to inspire, motivate and empower students to become excellent and caring physicians, scientists, and leaders. Thirty-five percent of current CUSM medical students are from the Inland Empire, and 50 percent come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This transformational gift helps eliminate the financial pressure for deserving students who feel it the most. Seven annual scholarships, part of IEHP’s Healthcare Scholarship Fund, will be given to students who commit to providing primary healthcare to residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties for five years after…

New CSUSB Performing Arts Center construction project plans approved

Cal State San Bernardino is one step closer to a new Performing Arts village at the university, a $111 million construction and renovation project that would add two new buildings to campus including a new Performing Arts Center and an academic building that would serve as an anchor to the College of Arts and Letters. The project will also renovate the existing performing arts building for future college expansion. The schematic design of the village project was approved by the California State University Board of Trustees at its Sept. 23 meeting. The project is currently scheduled to open during the 2024-25 academic year. “The new performing arts center will both redefine the entry experience to the university and at the same time, provide state-of-the-art academic experiences to our students. We expect that this will be the premier performing arts facility for our community and the Inland Empire,” said Doug Freer, CSUSB vice president for administration and finance. “We are excited to see this project moving forward. The project, and specifically the performing arts theater, have been years in the making and will provide state-of-the-art facilities…

Colton Joint Unified recruiting Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee members

The Colton Joint Unified School District is recruiting new members for its Measure G Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. The Board-approved advisory committee meets quarterly to review CJUSD bond expenditures to ensure they are within the scope of the measure. It also receives updates and tours of current bond-supported construction projects and informs the public on progress. The committee needs new members in the following categories: member in a taxpayer organization; parent/guardian of child enrolled in the district; parent/guardian of child enrolled in the district and active in a parent-teacher organization such as P.T.A. or a school site council; member in a business organization representing the business community; member in a senior citizens’ organization; community member at large. The recently completed stadiums at Bloomington and Colton high schools were both funded through Measure G, along with the new Multipurpose Room at BHS and the Multipurpose Room currently under construction at CHS. Previous Measure G projects include Grand Terrace High School and Joe Baca Middle School, new math and science buildings at Colton and Bloomington high schools, and modernization projects at 10 other campuses throughout the district.…

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