Rialto USD Registration Center reopens, offers convenient student enrollment

Rialto, Ca- With great pleasure the Rialto Unified School District Board of Education and Superintendent, Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila will reopen the District Registration Center (DRC), located at 260 South Willow Avenue, in Rialto, to order to create an effective and easier student enrollment process for parents/guardians and staff members. “With our next school year beginning August 7, we wanted to offer convenient, early enrollment
services,” stated Superintendent, Dr. Avila. “On July 5, 2017, starting at 7:30 a.m., staff at the DRC will, officially, begin accepting enrollment for transitional kindergarten to twelfth grade students. We are enthusiastic about offering this one-stop opportunity for parents and our communities’ children.” On Thursday, June 29, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the DRC will hold a Grand Re-opening.

The DRC first opened its door in 2007. Drastic budget cuts affected the closure shortly afterwards. “It is exciting to open our doors, again, to serve our parents and students,” replied Pilar Ayala, DRC Supervisor. “We are ready to provide friendly, effective, and time-sensitive service to our parents, and
we also hope to see many faces on June 29, at the reopening of the DRC.” The District’s projected enrollment is approximately 25,530, encompassing 29 schools, within the City of Rialto, parts of the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Fontana and the area of Lytle Creek. RUSD parents/guardians are urged to register their child(ren) at the District Registration Center. All registrations are on a walk-in basis. From July 5, 2017, office hours will be Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. Parents/guardians whose children are new to the RUSD schools next year are
urged to enroll early. Trained and friendly staff members are available to answer any questions.
Enrolling a child for school involves the parent/guardian to have the following documentation available: enrolling parent’s Identification Card, proof of residency, your child’s birth certificate, previous school information, check out grades/transcripts and the immunization card.
For more information on registration/enrollment please call the DRC at (909) 873-4300 or (909) 820- 7700, ext. 2357.


School starts in Rialto with new superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila at the helm

Can one person really make a difference? Well, I guess it all depends on the person’s position and the scale of the change. In Rialto they made a change to the top level official in Rialto Unified School District, but what Rialto parents and community members are looking for may not happen right away if at all.

Credit RUSD twitter account

Credit RUSD twitter account

Rialto Unified has been full of scandals and challenges over the years. Some of them you can read about in the article Beau Yarbrough from The Sun Newspaper wrote about the Superintendent’s first day of school tour (a tour only some news media was informed about apparently) read his article here. What Beau’s article misses to point out is the rampant culture of abusive staff, the constant struggle between parents and local administrators, loss of thousands of dollars in local control funding to RUSD elementary sites and the issues that come with having schools that are policed by over taxed and dangerous cities like Colton and San Bernardino.

We were not able to be a part of this First Day of School tour with new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila but at National Night Out we were able to speak with Scott Sparks, Principal of Eisenhower High School and some of the many staff from around the district. All  were ready to meet their students Wednesday morning. We asked Mr. Sparks if he was ready for the first day, he said with much enthusiasm that we’re ready and excited for the students. Eisenhower has been a shinning jewel for the RUSD. Mr. Sparks in his third year as Principal of Eisenhower High has been reaching out to the community to seek out the best learning experience for the students in his care. He is also lucky to have stories of concerned staff helping children outside of work hours. Like when Mark Steeter, a teacher at Eisenhower High School ended up saving a toddler’s life on his 30th wedding anniversary trip over  Memorial Day weekend.

One statement Beau got from new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila was that he had changes but he wanted to move slowly. This isn’t sitting well with parents who are struggling. Many parents of special education students were looking for new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila to make quick changes and help them get a proper education for their children.

It looks like we are in a wait and see pattern with new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila. Only time will tell in we see positive changes and results for our students in Rialto Unified School District.


Rialto School Board Q&A with Don Olinger

Don Olinger was the second candidate to respond to our Q&A opportunity for the School Board, well kind of! Instead of answering our questions he choose to send us a prepared candidate statement. One of the communities biggest issues with the current board and the district is they don’t listen to the community. In our opinion Mr. Olinger clearly has that problem as well. With that being said we are posting his statement because their are some interesting nuggets inside.

Donald D. Olinger
Birthplace………Wabash County Indiana
Rialto resident since 1957
BA ……..Manchester University
MA………Indiana University
Post Graduate….Univ. of Redlands
Career: Rialto teacher and principal
Political:  Two terms (8 years) on Rialto School Board
Three terms on West Valley Water District Board of Directors
Church:   Administrative Council Chairperson & Board of Trustees
Military:  U.S. Navy veteran

1.  My major focus is to restore the luster of the RUSD, once the envy of surrounding
districts.  This can be done by first identifying systemic problems which cause major
distractions from the core purpose of public education.  Shoring up the deficits can best
be accomplished with meaningful stakeholder involvement in a trust relationship setting.
This begins in the boardroom, which currently is not a happy place.

2.  What goes on in the boardroom affects what takes place in the classroom and vice versa.
Electing competent, knowledgeable board members is essential to implementing recent
school reforms enacted in Sacramento.  Common Core State Standards and a landmark
Local Control Funding Formula will start moving schools in the right direction.  The LC Action
Plan must include increased funding for early childhood education, class size reductions,
more instructional aides, counsellors, and staff development.  Chronic absenteeism, lack
of interest in school and a slowing of API scores will require new strategies.

Measure Y funds are modernizing aging schools. How the remaining $61 million author-
ization is spent will require close monitoring and perhaps reassessing priorities
along the way.  Garnering public support for a possible parcel tax hike is essential to
providing our students with a safe, healthy school environment.

3.  Despite some excellent programs like Parent University, community forums, staff
development, student services, etc.  there is a “lack of confidence” perception by many
parents.  What some consider poor decisions and inaction at the top echelon foster
even more discontent.  Board meetings at times are contentious which give confusing
signals to staff in implementing policy decisions.  I am pleased that the Board is trying
to ease tensions in a more emotionally satisfying climate.

4.  The RUSD where my children received a good education and where I enjoyed a wonderful
career has the elements of a great district but lacks a the spirit and synergy which release
the best efforts of staff, parents and students.  This requires a collaborative plan of action.

5.  School districts compete for the best qualified employees including the superintendent.
The reciprocal is that applicants search for the best district.  Attracting the most qualified
applicants require more than a good compensation package.  They want to be in a place
where employees feel appreciated, free of petty conflict and where visionary goals can
be realized.  One of the most salient roles of the Board is selecting the right superintendent.
This should be a serious assignment in tandem with a professional search team and
and all stakeholders.  Excessive contract perks should be avoided.

6.  Sometimes new leadership on the Board is necessary to make a desirable change.
Many parents and community leaders have urged me to return to the Boardroom.  They
feel that my experience on school, water and church boards, a teaching career, commitment
to high standards, personal attributes and a fondness of the RUSD make me a unique
candidate for the November 4, 2014 school board election.

Who Are You Voting For Rialto Unified School Board

So after we did that last two polls on the City Council Race we were asked if we were going to do a poll for the Rialto Unified School Board? Well here you go here is the poll. Don’t fret we wont stop there we have a Q&A that has gone out to all candidates and we will be posting the ones that have come back tomorrow. So vote and share lets se what you guys are thinking.

Coruption at Rialto Unified School District runs deeper than reported

Here at Rialto Now we have been monitoring this story at a distance. Why? Because the people running Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) are corrupt money hungry attention seekers and they will step on whoever gets in their way or disagrees with them. Getting any School official to go on the record and be honest is like drawing water from a well in HELL.

With that being said RUSD teachers are beyond fearful of what or who could replace Dr. Cebrum when and if the RUSD Board decides he and his right hand man Wallace are to leave the district. Some of the worse RUSD administrators are feared to be on the short list of potential successors.

Read this article below written by the Daily Bulletin Staff and tell me if you still trust RUSD and its band of brothers:


RIALTO >> For more than eight years, a district accountant stole nearly one in every four dollars that passed through the Rialto Unified School District’s lunch money program, according to a forensic audit obtained by The Sun.

A lack of internal controls, including a security camera that was not in operation most of the time and shoddy record keeping, allowed Judith Oakes, the former longtime accountant for the school district’s nutritional services department, to allegedly steal more than $1.8 million from the district from July 11, 2005, to Aug. 6, 2013, according to the audit.

Further complicating things was a perception by school district employees that Oakes was untouchable because she had a personal relationship with school district Superintendent Harold Cebrun, according to the audit by Rancho Cucamonga-based Stewart Investigative Services Inc.

“Ms. Oakes was involved in an open personal relationship with the superintendent of the school district from 2010 to August 2013, which created a work environment wherein she was deemed unapproachable and could not be held accountable by her immediate superiors,” according to the audit summary.

Rialto police arrested Oakes, 49, of San Bernardino, on Aug. 7 at her place of work and subsequently charged her with eight felony counts of embezzlement and eight felony counts of misappropriation of public funds. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14 in Fontana.

The case broke when Oakes’ supervisor, Cindi Stone, saw Oakes on a surveillance camera stuffing a bundle of $2,000 in $20 bills into her bra on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6. Stone notified district risk manager Derek Harris, who then called police, according to the audit and a search warrant affidavit.

Details of the criminal investigation were revealed in the forensic audit commissioned by the school district after Oakes’ arrest, a complete copy of which was obtained by The Sun on Friday via a Public Records Act request. It painted a picture of antiquated accounting procedures and lax oversight at the school district that allowed Oakes to allegedly steal thousands of dollars from the district on a weekly basis.

Oakes ramped up her suspected illegal activity in 2007. In one work week, from April 30 to May 4, Oakes allegedly stole $16,000, and discrepancies of $10,000 or more per week in that year were not uncommon, the audit shows.

Of the more than $8 million the district collected in student lunch money between July 2005 and August 2013, only $6.2 million was actually accounted for, a difference of more than $1.8 million, the amount Oakes is suspected of stealing.

The audit also found that cash collections and deposits were not compared to actual sales figures, and outstanding checks and deposits in transit to the bank were never reconciled. In addition, Oakes, not the clerk who actually counted the cash, was the one who handed off bank deposit slips to the armored car courier who transported the cash to the bank, implying that Oakes could have written cash amounts on the deposit slips that did not match those of the clerk who actually counted the cash.

A search of Oakes’ home turned up original deposit slips that had been replaced by Oakes and more than $34,000 in cash straps for various denominations. The cash straps are used in the money counting room at the school district to strap specific dollar amounts of specific denominations. The items were found in a large purse belonging to Oakes, according to the audit.

The environment Oakes worked in made it rather easy for her to commit her alleged crimes, according to the audit.

“The private office which was built for Ms. Oakes further assisted her embezzlement scheme by providing a private sanctuary in which she could safely take money from her top and put it in her purse and to also steal other monies without being seen by the office staff,” according to the audit.

As a 24-year district employee, Oakes became the trusted sole accountant of the nutritional services department’s funds.

Prior to the 2010-11 school year, lunch money collected from parents at the nutrition services department was sent to schools across the district to handle. But in the 2010-11 school year, a computerized point of sale system was installed in the nutritional services department that allowed the payments to be inputted electronically into student lunch accounts. Oakes is suspected of taking the money intended for those accounts, which was left in her mailbox in white envelopes by office clerks. Auditors suspect Oakes could have been taking up to $100 a week.

“The clerks who counted the money in the money room state it was not until after Ms. Oakes was arrested that anyone ever brought these white envelopes of money from parents into the money room to be counted,” according to the audit.

Oakes was also suspected of stealing cash payments made to the district by a pallet recycling business for broken, discarded pallets. The warehouse manager for the nutrition services department would turn the receipts for those payments in to Oakes, but the cash was never accounted for in deposit slips. Receipts from the pallet recycling business totaling $858.75 for 2012 and $737 for 2013 were found in Oakes’ desk, according to the audit.

Stewart Investigations made the following recommendations to the district:

• Either contract with a bank to provide cash counting services or have the clerks be responsible for cash counts and not have the accountant, or anyone who has access to the accounting system, participate in the cash counts.

• The nutrition services department should have two bank accounts — a receiving account with an appropriate interest amount, and a clearing account that is to be cleared down to zero at least every month. The rest of the cash would be moved to the cash in a county account.

• Any and all cash collections be receipted into the eTrition system so the accountant is assured all cash collections are in the system and reliable sales figures can be posted.

“The district has reviewed the audit recommendations and has implemented changes to improve our handling of procedures as it applies to checks and balances,” said district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri.

Cebrun’s attorney, Willie W. Williams, said Friday the information included in the audit is nothing Cebrun has not already disclosed to auditors and to the public in an October interview with The Sun.

“That’s absolutely consistent with what Dr. Cebrun has said to the press, Stewart Investigations and anyone else involved, and I think that underscores there was nothing nefarious going on where he would be concerned,” Williams said.

Williams, however, disputed the auditors’ determination as to how long the relationship between Cebrun and Oakes had occurred.

“(Cebrun) didn’t become acquainted with Ms. Oakes until the summer of 2011,” Williams said.

Cebrun admitted during his October interview to kissing and hugging Oakes but maintained the relationship and physical contact was strictly of a platonic, not intimate, nature.

As police have already said, the auditors noted in their report that there was no evidence of Cebrun or anyone else employed by the school district being directly involved in Oakes’ suspected illegal activity.

Cebrun’s chief of staff, James Wallace, whom Cebrun said was also a friend of Oakes who frequently accompanied them on outings, told investigators he had been in contact with Oakes a number of times after her arrest and considered himself to be “her unofficial counselor,” according to the audit.

Cebrun and Wallace remain on paid administrative leave, Jafri said.

“The district’s interest with respect to any relationship the superintendent and Ms. Oakes may have had is how the relationship impacted the work environment,” Jafri said, “and that issue is a confidential employment matter that the Board of Education continues to evaluate.”