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MLUSD Highlighted at the Statewide Level

00:00 AM - June 15, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closing of El Dorado County school facilities in March, school officials and educators pivoted to meet the needs of their students, families and communities. The Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) developed several best-practices during their early response, and Superintendent Dr. Marcy Guthrie was asked by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) to present their findings during the statewide webinar - Equity at the Local Level: Early COVID-19 Response in California School Districts. El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, also presented and expressed, “Superintendent Dr. Guthrie and the MLUSD team have done extraordinary work to meet the needs of every student. Before COVID-19, they created a foundation of collaboration, equity and quality instruction that served them well through the school closures.”

Collaboration was pivotal for MLUSD, and Dr. Guthrie explained, “We have always operated under the spirit of collaboration and, over the years, have strengthened our relationships with our colleagues, families, labor leaders, board members and the community [having recently participated in the CA Labor Management Initiative]. MLUSD then leveraged this collaboration when our facilities closed due to the pandemic, and it facilitated work from the board room to the classroom and everywhere in between.”

MLUSD always operated with an equity mindset, knowing that not all students would have access to basic needs such as food or instructional tools such as digital devices. MLUSD continued providing meal service, as 60 percent of our student population receive free and reduced-priced lunches. Some lived in communities and did not have transportation to pick up their meals at the school site. The MLUSD team jumped into action and used bus drivers to transport meals to these communities. To ensure every student had access to their lessons, Chromebooks and internet hotspots were distributed quickly.

To provide quality instruction, MLUSD team members harnessed each other’s skills to implement Google Classrooms across the district. Guthrie explained, “Utilizing one platform allowed teachers to help one another become familiar with the tool. Principals taught their teachers how to use Google Classroom and other online tools by creating Google Classrooms and having their teachers enrolled as their students. Soon, teachers who already had a strong skillset in Google Classroom stepped up as leaders and taught those teachers who may have never heard of them. Teachers tracked their progress with each student, and special service and English-Learners received the same high-quality level of instruction and connection with their teachers.”

According to PACE’s website, “PACE is an independent, non-partisan research center led by faculty directors at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of California Davis, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California Berkeley. PACE bridges the gap between research, policy, and practice, working with scholars from California’s leading universities and with state and local decision-makers to achieve improvement in performance and more equitable outcomes at all levels of California’s education system, from early childhood to postsecondary education and training.”

MLUSD’s successes were also highlighted in PACE’s brief titled Collaboration and Addressing Student Needs which may be found here >>

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