January 25, 2022- Harry “Doc” Ervin, Superintendent, San Bernardino City Unified School District-Hybrid meeting In-person & via Zoom -via ZOOM

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM


Present:  Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Rachelle Bussell, Chris Carrillo, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Michelle Decker, Kevin Dyerly, Otis Greer, Fran Inman, Randel Josserand, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, John Mirau, Tomas Morales, Dan Murphy, Vikki Ostermann, Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Karen Richmond, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Dan Schenkel, Eric Ustation, Pete Van Helden, Reggie Webb, Michael Wells, Dr. Judy White, Ray Wolfe, and Frank Zabaleta.

Guests: Sheriff Dicus, Dr. Rachel Monárrez, SBCUSD and Arnold San Miguel, SCAG.

Announcements:  1) Committees were reminded that their 2022 Federal Issue papers are due Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  The Committee Chairs will present their issues, and priorities will be selected, at the February 8, 2022, meeting.  Inland Action’s federal advocacy meetings will be via Zoom on March 8th & 9th, 2022.

Lowell King, Chair presiding.

Motion by K. Dyerly/Second by R. Wolfe/Passed: Minutes from January 18, 2022.

Tomás Morales introduced Harry “Doc” Ervin, Superintendent of San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and Rachel H. Monárrez, Ph.D., Deputy Superintendent both of whom joined us in-person.

The San Bernardino City Unified School District serves most of the city of San Bernardino and the western portion of the city of Highland. The District has an enrollment of more than 47,000 students, making it California’s seventh largest urban public school district.  Their 73 schools have a diverse student population with a 90% minority enrollment and an 88% poverty level.

Doc Ervin is dedicated to bringing equity and access to economically disadvantaged students from culturally diverse backgrounds to ensure high expectations leading to increasing academic success in San Bernardino.  He is unapologetically committed to making decisions that are in the best interest of children.  He has completed his 6-month tour of the district which included visiting 500 classrooms to learn the current situation.  He also went on a listening and learning tour June-Nov to get a better understanding of the district.  Doc Ervin stated he is pleased to report that in all areas SBCUSD is poised for excellence providing equity, access, and innovation.  He is impressed with the quality of teachers and their instruction.  Additionally, the district also enjoys important partners like Cal State University San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Community College District.

They must, however, get alignment across the entire district in curricular, instructional, and assessment structures.  This year they are working on the full alignment of systems and structures to be ready for next year to improve the outcome for all students.

The District’s COVID response has been exceptionally good, and they are ready with daily updates on the ever-changing circumstances.  Their reporting dashboard has been transparent, and they have been smart about where they put their resources.  SBCUSD has hired AMLLC, provider of K-12 & Community Health Solutions for COVID-19 Mitigation who provides a COVID liaison on site in all of their schools to inform and help stop the spread of COVID.  Although costly, this has allowed teachers to focus on teaching and learning.  COVID-19 is a volatile issue to manage, and teachers have had to design and learn remote education.  All student achievement momentum was halted by school closures.  2020-2021 key performance indicators show that the biggest gap in learning has been third grade English language arts and math that show some 80% of students are far below grade level.

95% of students have now returned to in person learning for the first time in 18 months.  Since returning to in-person learning students are now reconnecting with teachers who are engaging and rebuilding relationships with students and communicating that they really care.  Friendships and peer relationships are also being established, which is very important for socialization.  The district was making some good progress, especially in graduations, but distance learning was not good for kids and it will take time and momentum to get back to where they want to be.

The district will do a hard re-set on systems this year to be able to take the students to the next level beginning next school year.  The goals for SBCUSD are building a framework for excellence which are:

  • Academic Achievement
  • College & Career Readiness
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Family Engagement
  • Health & Safety

To ensure that all options are available for a student’s future, it’s important to make sure all students are prepared to go to college.  To be eligible to enter a four-year public college, students must meet a series of 15 specific high school courses with a grade of C or better called A through G.  The district has found that many students have an excess of the credits needed to graduate but are not A-G ready.  Only 4 out of 10 graduates are college ready and that needs to change.  Beginning in high school each student will have a digital plan in place which includes early warnings; if the student fails a class there will be systems in place (early warning systems) to attack the problem with intervention and get the student the help they need to get back on track.

COVID created a time of uncertainty, and the budget was of great concern.  The district had to consider new expenditures of laptops, creation of digital hotspots, personal protective equipment, and more.  Thanks to State support their budget is close to a billion dollars.  This one-time funding, however, is restricted, and they must be strategic and thoughtful as they go forward.

Next steps include breaking up the district into service delivery models.  They will create 8 middle school and elementary school clusters.  Each of these clusters will have an academic and a social and emotional support team in addition to a learning network director who is an experienced administrator creating both vertical and horizontal support.  All will have the same standards and curriculum across the district.  This process will involve re-coordination of staff to work in clusters as in the MTSS model which focuses on the “whole child” which means it supports academic growth, behavior, social and emotional needs, and absenteeism.

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:42 a.m.