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District Support Strategies Webinar Notes

Notes from the April 9, 2020 What Districts are Doing to Support their Students and English Learner Support Strategies Webinar.

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Date: 4/9/2020
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Facilitators: Dr. Stephanie Gregson and Shanine Coats
Panel Members (in order of appearance): Dr. Veronica Aguila, English Learner and Support Division, Dr. Stepan Mekhitarian, Glendale Unified, Angela Herrera and Carol Swanson, Natomas Unified

Key Takeaways: Best Practices for English Language Development (ELD)

  1. Identify what can be sent home with students
    1. Leverage online or digital integrated resources from publishers or subscriptions that districts have already purchased for ELD content
    2. Leverage packets, PBS and other broadcasters for alternatives to online learning resources
  2. Provide specific time for ELD within the Distance Learning (DL) schedule
  3. Continue to offer bilingual, dual language, and LA programs through DL
    1. Capitalize on students use of home language
    2. Provide EL students and their families with literacy resources
  4. Continue to provide culturally responsive lessons
  5. Lots of resources for ELD
    1. EL newsletter provided by the California Department of Education (CDE)
    2. See slides for list of resources
  6. State Seal of Biliteracy will continue to be offered
    1. Process is the same
    2. See CDE State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) page
  7. Kern County Office of Education is a good model to follow
    1. Work with other districts and schools to share resources and best practices

Key Takeaways: Best practices for DL implementation

  1. Identify needs of students and families as quickly as possible
    1. First, establish that social, emotional, health, etc. needs are met
      1. Connect families with services and resources
        1. Natomas offers food pantry and meal delivery
    2. Then identify possible access and accommodation issues
      1. Glendale and Natomas sent surveys to determine need for Chromebooks and hotspots
        1. Both set up delivery and pick-up processes
  2. Establish communication plan
    1. Both developed communication plans that provided regular contact with community
      1. Natomas provided opportunities to collect feedback and questions from families and from staff
      2. Natomas utilized traditional methods as well as social media to contact students not reached during initial attempts
      3. Natomas communicates gaps and bumps in DL process for transparency
      4. Glendale had an all-inclusive document to communicate with everyone and provide hyperlinked resources
    2. Both developed orientations for community and labor partners
      1. Parents were briefed on how the DL process would go and on what resources are available and where to get help when needed
      2. Natomas developed orientation videos for all stakeholders and sent them out through their communication channels.
        1. Glendale set up tech support hotline
  3. Identify staff and teacher needs and address as possible
    1. Provide training and support for teachers
    2. Provide orientation and piloting for teachers
  4. Leverage existing resources and infrastructure
    1. Both districts were already using website and web portal (LMS) for some things
      1. Natomas created specific websites for each school and grade level with user-friendly splash page for easy access to related sites and resources
      2. The also developed easy access page for contacting teachers
    2. Natomas teachers already had access to Mac Books and iPads
      1. Also already used Google Suite
  5. For Special Education (SPED), Natomas amended Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and made clear what they plan to do for each child during this process
    1. Communicated plan with parents upfront
    2. Developed specific SPED DL platform
    3. Stressed home-school collaboration
    4. Currently developing a plan to address regression early
      1. Not waiting for failure to address the issue
  6. For preschool, Natomas created a YouTube channel full of skill appropriate instruction videos from the teachers including circle time.
Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 24, 2024