Migrant education conducts annual summer program virtually
Each summer, the Migrant Education Program provides a variety of supplemental instruction to its students in grades K-11, including its acclaimed Summer STEM activities. Faced with the elimination of in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Migrant Education administrators had to reimagine their summer offerings. “What is typically a two- or three-week program has turned into four- or five-month partnerships involving many individuals and agencies,” said Tony Velásquez, Migrant Education administrator. “The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to be creative in order to reach and provide for the needs of our migrant students.”
Utilizing distance-learning tools, hundreds of students from dozens of Tulare and Kings county schools were able to participate in STEM activities. Through this program, Migrant Education students enter the world of engineering with projects that replicate work done by a variety of engineers. The program provided grade-specific science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lessons developed by Engineering is Elementary (EIE) through the Museum of Science, Boston. Students in grades K-2 learned about the work of agricultural engineers by designing hand pollinators, while students in grades 3-5 developed water filters. Middle and high school students learned about the work of civil and environmental engineers through their project, Don’t Runoff: Designing Urban Landscapes.
Mr. Velásquez reports that additional virtual instruction was provided in educational bundles, as many pre-K, elementary, and middle school migrant students need assistance with core content areas such as mathematics and English language development. Again this year, consumer mathematics was provided to high school students with financial and computational lessons that have real-life applications.
Migrant administrators are currently gathering and analyzing data from students who participated in the summer programs last month. For information on the summer program, contact Tony Velásquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tulare County schools to begin fall semester utilizing distance learning
On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced further restrictions for schools on the state’s County Monitoring List, which includes Tulare County. All schools in Tulare and other watch list counties were ordered to begin fall instruction utilizing robust distance learning and daily engagement between teachers and students. No on-campus instruction will be allowed while counties remain on the state watch list.
To address how the Governor’s latest policies affect local schools, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire has created a video which will be shared on TCOE’s social media this afternoon. “While we as a county practice the safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must also prepare to deliver the finest distance learning instruction to each and every student,” said Mr. Hire. “Through resources such as our Virtual Learning Conference on August 4, we can – as a community of educators, students, and parents – meet that goal.” Readers are invited to check TCOE’s YouTube channel at tcoe.org/YouTube or Facebook at www.facebook.com/tularecountyofficeofeducation to view Mr. Hire’s video.
To measure if it is safe for schools to offer on-campus instruction, the Tulare County public health officer will use epidemiological data, including improvements in COVID-19 case transmission rates, positivity rates, and hospitalizations, to determine when in-person learning will be permitted in local public and private schools. Tulare County must remain off the County Monitoring List for at least 14 consecutive days in order for schools to reopen.
To accelerate Tulare County’s removal from the state’s County Monitoring List and students’ return to classrooms, public health officials strongly urge everyone to practice all of the CDC’s guidelines for limiting exposure to the COVID-19 virus. These measures include physical distancing of six feet or more between persons not from your immediate household, wearing a facemask or covering while in public, and frequently and thoroughly washing your hands and high-touch areas in your home. More importantly, residents should not participate in social gatherings of any kind, as a large number of the COVID-19 cases in Tulare County stem from exposure through gatherings that occurred beyond a single household.
Distance Learning Resources
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
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