EDCOE's CI&A Team Supports Education in Many Ways

EDCOE's CI&A Team Supports Education in Many Ways

00:00 AM - April 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education for the short and long-term future. School facilities will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year, but educating El Dorado County students and supporting educators and families remains a top priority for the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE). Since these events began to unfold. The EDCOE Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability (CI&A) team has met regularly via Zoom and worked countless hours to provide resources and tools that impact many beneficiaries.  

Team members worked directly with the superintendents of El Dorado County’s 15 school districts to conduct a comprehensive situational analysis and determine their needs. Gigi Marchini, Director of CI&A, explained, “Given school district geographic and socio-economic diversity, superintendents’ needs varied greatly regarding internet connectivity, food service capacity, etc. This information was collected and reported to the California Department of Education which is working to support districts at the state level. Districts also requested professional development support on digital platforms such as Google Classrooms, and so our team partnered with our IT department to provide training to more than 90 educators – including special education and court school teachers.”   

In addition, CI&A also provides districts with grant writing support services. The El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) and CI&A wrote for a Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant through the California Department of Education. If awarded, this grant will provide ample resources for the district to address the increases in vaping as well as other tobacco products.

“The TUPE grant process was voluminous with the final grant amounting to nearly 170 pages. Without the tremendous support of Dr. Kistler (EDCOE’s Director of Program and District Support) and the CI&A team, the submission of this grant would have never occurred. Dr. Kistler and Ellen Kroon (Program Assistant), along with Nora Mays from El Dorado County Health and Human Services spent countless late nights and weekends in partnership with EDUHSD to develop a thorough and innovative plan to curb the use of vaping devices and tobacco in the district,” EDUHSD Senior Director of Student Support and Innovation, Chuck Palmer, noted. "Over my 25 years in education I have partnered with numerous agencies in the writing of multiple grants. I have never experienced the level of support, collegiality, and tireless effort as I have from Dr. Kistler and her team at EDCOE as well as that of Nora Mays. We are truly fortunate to have such incredible folks in our county who care so deeply for our students and community. EDUHSD is beyond thankful for their partnership."

CI&A is also focused on providing digital and physical resources that support all students including English-Language Learners and those ages 0-5. Our youngest students are supported by EDCOE’s Head Start and State Preschool programs where Early Learning Coaches, Teachers and Instructional Aides are working hard to provide developmental experiences for families.

This year, first-year educators are not only facing challenges as new teachers, but they are also teaching in unprecedented education conditions. Educators are reconfiguring instruction to meet student and family needs in unique circumstances. Coordinator of Professional Development MaryJo Verbitsky explained, “Our team provides a New Teacher Induction program that supports both new teachers and their mentors. Through this experience, we are encouraging educators to work creatively within the new constraints and continue to provide meaningful learning opportunities. Teachers are pretty creative people and some of the ideas that they have come up with are amazing! The standards and expectations of teaching and learning have not changed, but the way in which we support students is shifting. We continue to host seminars and trainings for Participating Teachers and Mentors.”

CI&A looks forward to continuing to support programs, districts, educators and students to help navigate these waters. For more information regarding EDCOE and CI&A, visit edcoe.org