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News Gallery Week

Students with special needs learn online with support from parents and teachers

TCOE Special Services Instruction at Home

In the past few weeks, thousands of children and students with special needs have transitioned to learning online from home with support from staff of the Special Services Division. This week, the News Gallery highlights the ways over 1,200 students in Tulare County AcCEL programs are continuing their education at home. This includes students who were part of dozens of special programs in school districts around the county.

TCOE Special Services Instruction at Home

Across the county, AcCEL teachers and aides have been sharing photos taken by parents of their children learning at home. These include students from elementary, middle, and high school programs, along with students in the Community Based Instruction Classrooms who are 18 to 22 years old.

TCOE Special Services Instruction at Home

Teachers have been checking in with their students and parents to make sure they are successful in accessing the Unique Learning System (ULS) curriculum on a tablet or laptop. Teachers have also prepared work packets and lesson plans with art and science lessons, and ideas on getting students involved in projects around the house, including cooking and playing games with siblings. Teachers have also learned to adapt their instruction for students in houses without wifi access.

TCOE Special Services Instruction at Home

“We greatly appreciate the hundreds of parents who have stepped up to assist their children as they continue to learn from home,” said Tim Hire, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools. “We also appreciate the teachers, aides, and administrators from our AcCEL program for their creativity and diligence in supporting this process.”

Photos above:
~ Students Jake (left) and Adrian (right) access the Unique Learning System software for individualized lessons on their devices.
~ Marissa, a student in Shirley Gowett’s Community Based Instruction Classroom at College of the Sequoias, is pictured helping make breakfast for her family.
~ Evelyn (left) and Camryn (right), with assistance from her grandmother, work on packets prepared by AcCEL teachers and aides.
~ Isabella (left) enjoys creating one of the art and science projects prepared for her while Gavin (right) gets some exercise by taking a walk with his family.

SCICON invites community to take a virtual wildflower walk

SCICON creates a virtual Wildflower Walk

The SCICON campus will be quiet on Sunday with only the wind, birds, insects, and water in the creek making springtime sounds. The third Sunday in April usually finds the campus full of happy visitors, music, and the delightful smells of a barbecue. Excited children lead their parents to share in experiences they had on a past visit to SCICON, while musicians play and staff lead visitors on tours of the raptor center, the museum, and along the trails to see the glorious displays of wildflowers.

While the 60th Annual SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival, scheduled for Sunday, April 19, has been postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community members can still enjoy the wide variety of wildflowers through a video created by Dina Mendez, one of the SCICON interns. The short video features images and titles of many of the wildflowers blooming on campus this week.

The annual SCICON Barbecue & Wildflower Festival is organized by the not-for-profit Friends of SCICON organization, which raises funds to support the outdoor education program. The Friends of SCICON board is evaluating alternative dates later this year to hold the annual barbecue. To support Friends of SCICON, visit

Coming Up!

  • Many upcoming student events have been cancelled or postponed. Check the current list of all student events (cancelled, postponed, and tentatively scheduled) on the Student Events webpage.

View more events at

Editor: Robert Herman, Public Information Officer
Contributors: Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Lorena White, Dianne Shew, Dina Mendez, Conan Palmer, Sarah Hamilton, Tammy McKean, Shirley Gowett, Michelle Valdez, Jennifer Giannetto, Laurie Jennings, Maricela Ledezma, Lisa Marquis, and Rose Sisneros.

To receive News Gallery Week, visit, or contact Jennifer Fisher at or (559) 733-6172.