ERS introduces distance learning tools for educators and parents with children at home
In an effort to assist teachers and parents seeking alternative ways to continue their childen’s education at home due to school closures, Educational Resource Services (ERS) has created a website and made its online media resources available for free.
Introduced last week, the distance learning website features lessons and activities in grade level-specific categories across a variety of content areas. Also included are resources for student social/emotional learning – all in an easy-to-navigate format. Since its introduction, the website has been accessed by over 4,000 visitors in the U.S. and more than two dozen countries. To assist Spanish-speaking parents and visitors from other countries, a language translator from Google was added to the homepage this week.
“I appreciate the creativity and speed which members of our Instructional Services and Special Services divisions applied to this valuable resource,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “Our goal is to continue to add resources to the site to help serve parents during this time of school closures and into the summer.” Parents and educators are encouraged to visit the site frequently to enjoy added content. Viewers are also encouraged to share the link, tcoe.org/DistanceLearning, with others who may benefit from its resources.
In addition to the distance learning website, this week the ERS Library secured commitments from its content providers to allow free access to their digital resources through April 30, 2020. These digital resources include eBooks from Tumble Book Library and Teen Book Cloud, age-appropriate streaming videos from Discovery Education, educational games for math, ELA, and science provided by Edmentum, and a social/emotional gaming environment from Peekaville. In addition, vetted and curated articles are available from a variety of sources including Britannica and World Book Online Encyclopedias, ProQuest, Opposing Viewpoints, and ABC CLIO.
To view these California standards-aligned digital resources, log in to the ERS Portal at erslibrary.tcoe.org by April 30 using the following usernames and passwords:
For additional support with the ERS Library resources, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (559) 651-3031.
New teacher residency will prepare 150 educators for rural schools
In California, 82 percent of rural communities are reporting teacher shortages – communities representing one-third of all California school districts. With the teacher shortage expected to nearly double by 2025, rural districts are being challenged to address these shortages today.
Through a program announced in September, TCOE’s California Center on Teaching Careers (the Center), in partnership with CSU Bakersfield, will invest nearly $7 million to prepare 150 new teachers to fill high-need openings in the Visalia Unified School District. The Teacher Residency for Rural Education (TRRE) project creates a supportive gateway into the profession, while eliminating financial barriers for interested candidates. The 18-month graduate program will serve approximately 30 aspiring educators each year for five years. It will ensure participants obtain a single subject credential with a focus in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and earn a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. Participants receive a $28,000 stipend for living expenses and are eligible for additional compensation for agreeing to work in a Visalia school after earning a teaching credential.
“Rural communities are acutely impacted by the teacher shortage,” said Donna Glassman-Sommer, executive director of the California Center on Teaching Careers. “By working together, we are eliminating barriers into the profession, preparing a diverse cohort of teachers, and offering incentives to retain these educators in our classrooms.”
The TRRE project aims to provide a blueprint that education professionals can use to create a pipeline of teachers who will support California students for years to come. The TRRE project is primarily funded through the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program; however, the National Center on Teacher Residency, the Bank Street School, Visalia Unified School District, Stanford Teacher Education Program, and a cadre of community-based partners have also contributed toward this program.
Those interested in applying to the TRRE Program, which will begin its first cohort in the fall of 2020, are encouraged to contact Donna Glassman-Sommer at email@example.com, or visit www.thecenter-trreproject.org/sign-up to submit an inquiry form for details about an online informational meeting.
Steps Challenge continues through April 3
While the two Healthy Tulare County Week Fitness Fairs – scheduled for April 2 and 3 at the Doe Avenue and Mooney Boulevard sites respectively – have been cancelled, the Tulare County Office of Education Steps Challenge continues through April 3. The Centers for Disease Control continues to encourage Americans to use the outdoors for healthy activities, including walking, running, and bicycling, so long as social distancing protocols are maintained.
“While we all work at home, take advantage of this time to develop some new healthy habits with your families,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “Use your lunch break or after dinner time to walk together. The effort you make is a testimony to your loved ones of the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.”
TCOE employees are encouraged to log their steps until Friday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m. This includes steps taken this weekend. Record your steps daily at bit.ly/TCOEStepsChallenge. Employees can use a Fitbit or other tracking device, or download a free step counter app to their smartphone. For every 10,000 steps taken per day, the employee's name will be entered in a drawing. Participants must record their daily steps by 11:59 p.m. each day.
Visit tcoe.org/wellness to see a report on cumulative step counts reached by staff members since the challenge began March 9.
Elementary students invited to build performance skills at three-week workshop this summer
Young actors and singers will have an opportunity to learn and perform the comedic musical Seussical Kids during the Theatre Company’s annual Summer Camp. Seussical Kids incorporates many of the characters from the children's stories of Dr. Seuss, most notably Horton the Elephant from Horton Hears a Who! Open to students grades 1-6, the Summer Camp program will help young performers develop their stage skills through three weeks of performance training. During the Summer Camp, directors work with participants on refining their voice, dance, and acting skills.
The Theatre Company Summer Camp will be held Monday-Friday, June 8-26 from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. The program will culminate with a performance of Seussical Kids on June 26 at 7:00 p.m. The Summer Camp will be held in the Elderwood Room at Tulare County Office of Education’s Doe Avenue complex. The cost of the Summer Camp is $100 per student. Registration is due June 1. For registration information, visit tcoe.org/TheatreCo, or email director Bethany Rader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View more events at tcoe.org/CalendarofEvents.
Editor: Robert Herman, Public Information Officer
Tim A. Hire, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
All mail to: P.O. Box 5091, Visalia, CA 93278-5091
Physical address: 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA 93277
phone: (559) 733-6300 · · fax: (559) 627-5219
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