SBCUSD Employee Onboarding Program A State Model Of Excellence

Photo of a pre-COVID culminating onboarding event for SBCUSD administrators.
(Photo by Corina Borsuk and provided courtesy of SBCUSD)

The San Bernardino City Unified School District’s (SBCUSD’s) comprehensive efforts to acclimate employees into its professional culture and values, starting with welcoming and training new hires, has earned acclaim from the California School Boards Association (CSBA).

The District’s Onboarding Program, overseen by the Human Resources Division, has earned a distinguished Golden Bell Award and will be formally honored in December at a reception in San Diego.

The District’s onboarding process is personalized depending on the role of the new employee and offers various opportunities for ongoing professional development and mentoring.

SBCUSD has about 47,000 students and is California’s seventh largest school district. The District has about 8,000 employees. As San Bernardino County’s largest school district and one of the Inland Empire’s largest employers, SBCUSD has a duty to hire and retain the most qualified employees, something that is even more important during the pandemic, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marcus Funchess, who oversees the Human Resources Division.

“We’re proud of our onboarding process because it helps new employees feel they are part of our SBCUSD family,” Funchess said. “Once our employees go through onboarding, they have the confidence and skills they need to succeed in their position, whether they’re a new teacher or custodian. Additionally, they develop an understanding of how their own purpose can align with our District’s vision.”

SBCUSD offers employees many opportunities to participate in professional development that focuses on sharing best practices with an emphasis on equity, access, inclusion, and innovative educational practices. The District designs excellent educational experiences for staff and gives employees diverse opportunities for authentic collaboration throughout the year.

Each year, CSBA recognizes outstanding educational programs and school governance practices that effectively address the needs of California students. The District has earned several Golden Bell Awards in recent years, including one for its efforts to cultivate future teachers from its student ranks through the Grow Your Own program. The Demonstration Teacher Program, also overseen by Human Resources, previously won Golden Bell acclaim. Demonstration teachers are experts in various subjects and open their classrooms to other District teachers who are working to hone their instructional skills.

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