The News Gallery
December 2001/January 2002JUST A CLICK AWAY - Educational Resource Services Program Manager Elainea Scott and the New On-line Standards Resource Guide
Editor: Rob Herman
Public Information Officer
M.J. Alms, Cherí Barnes, Gary Biggs, Darlynn Billingsley, Esmeralda Cano, Veronica Carmona, Christine Chapman, Vicky Contreras, Jeanne Croson, Randy Elzig, Frank Escobar, Linda Hamilton, Margaret Ibarra, LouAnn King, Donna Martin, Rick Mitchell and Donna Orozco.
The News Gallery is published monthly with the exception of double issues printed for July/August and December/January. If you would like to receive the News Gallery, please contact Christine Chapman at (559) 733-6172 and provide your name and address.
On-line Resource Connects Teachers with Materials to Support Standards
It seems the solution to most problems can be found if the right tools are available. For teachers struggling to implement the specific content standards developed by the California Department of Education (CDE), the right tool could be a book, a visual aid or a video tape that makes the standards come alive for students.
In Tulare County, teachers now have a resource to do just that. A team of library and technology specialists within the Educational Resource Services (ERS) program of the Instructional Services Division have pioneered an on-line resource which provides teachers a direct link from standards to available materials in the ERS library. This one-of-a-kind system allows teachers to review the subject matter standards by grade level and then query the library for related materials. Currently, standards for kindergarten through sixth grade are available for Reading/Language Arts and Science. Links for History/Social Science standards will be on-line later this month, followed by Mathematics early next year.
"Linking the California Academic Content Standards with the Educational Resource Services collection provides Tulare County teachers with one of the most powerful tools for delivering curriculum in California," says Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "This project is another example of the great talent this organization holds. The challenge of getting relevant instructional materials into the hands of classroom teachers was solved by combining the resources on-hand."
"About a year ago, Elainea undertook the formidable task of cataloging the entire ERS library collection from the original acquisition number system to a more commonly-used Library of Congress system," says Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Sally Bakke. "The Library of Congress system organizes materials by subject headings, providing a better correlation between the content of the book or tape and the State Content Standards."
"The reorganization of the library collection really set the stage for the Standards Resource Guide," says Elainea Scott. "Without that system in place, the new on-line guide would have been compromised." Ms. Scott is quick to add: "I'm not saying it was easy to match the thousands of materials in the library to specific content standards. It has taken many months and a few lively discussions to get the best fit."
The ERS library and technology team also realizes that the the Standards Resource Guide is a powerful tool for developing its own collection. "We want our contracting schools to tell us in the event that they are unable to find materials that match a particular standard," says Ms. Scott. "We are committed to researching our own resources to find something that might meet their needs. New materials will be added to the database as they arrive each day."
The Standards Resource Guide is available to schools in Tulare County that contract with ERS. A library contract allows teachers to borrow core and extended literature titles, big books, multicultural, reference, professional and non-fiction materials. Currently, the library holds over 7,700 book titles. Schools that contract for library services also receive consultant services from professional librarians relative to the selection and implementation of technology, instructional materials, development of library programs, library facility planning and training of library personnel. Each month, ERS library consultants conduct meetings for library contracting schools to present ideas and practical suggestions for best practices in library media centers.
ERS is also home to a collection of approximately 9,000 video titles. Contracting schools may borrow videos and have access to CD-ROM and computer software, source documents, simulations, sound recordings and art prints. These materials may be ordered over the phone, on the Internet, or in person, and will be delivered and picked up by ERS delivery staff. Additionally, each school is eligible to receive consultant services relative to the selection and implementation of technology, use of multimedia materials and classroom instruction techniques.
One of the other resources available to area schools is the recently-opened Teacher Resource Center (TRC). The Center was conceived to support preschool through college level teachers preparing for any curriculum unit. Support is provided through individual consultation and available videos, CDs, books, cassettes, puppets and classroom display materials. "The TRC is here to help teachers who drop in with specific ideas and those who need help in developing a concept and materials related to the unit he or she is teaching," says Ms. Scott. "We can even call on our Instructional Consultants for help in their respective areas of expertise."
"The State Content Standards are excellent guides for ensuring all California students receive the same quality education," says Mr. Vidak. "In Tulare County, service and support available through ERS and its many programs mean teachers have more of the right materials for the right subject—and ultimately, more time to teach." For more information on the Standards Resource Guide, contact ERS at 651-3031.
~ Library Media Technician Nathan Wills organizes books submitted by publishers to ERS for purchase.
~ Standards Resource team (clockwise from lower left) Steve Woods, Elainea Scott, Judi Hopper, Nathan Wills and Marjorie Denham.
~ Library Development Assistant Judi Hopper designs classroom visual aids for display in the Teacher Resource Center (TRC). The aids shown above can be used to illustrate the concept of "sequencing," a standard K-12 students are expected to know. Ms. Hopper routinely adds new standards-related displays in the TRC.
Faith-Based Organizations Provide Job Training to SEE & Co. Participants
Only recently have changes allowed state and federal funds to be utilized to collaborate with religious organizations, now termed "faith-based organizations." The federal government allows faith-based organizations to request funds to assist needy persons secure employment, housing, food and other basic necessities. Because of federal regulations and restrictions against the mingling of public funds, most religious groups have not bothered to ask for public help. That attitude changed under President Bush. Agencies, such as the Tulare County Office of Education, are now working with faith-based organizations to assist poor and disadvantaged families throughout the area.
On May 4, 2000, Services for Education & Employment (SEE) entered into an agreement with LOVE, INC. in Tulare to refer Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants to its large warehouse facility in Lindsay for training and employment. LOVE, INC. is part of a national religious organization, World Vision, which sends food, clothes and other materials to countries all over the world. Locally, LOVE, INC. receives various donated products from large national companies and must give the products to people in need including books, clothes, furniture, household items, generic medicine and drugs, school supplies and food items.
SEE participants work with LOVE, INC. and learn how to operate a warehouse, from shipping and receiving duties, to retail merchandising and display and inventory control. After several months of training at LOVE, INC., the participants are placed in jobs in the community. Approximately 100 SEE participants have received training at LOVE, INC. and have gone on to find stable jobs in the private sector.
On September 13, 2001, SEE & Co. entered into an agreement with the Open Gate Ministries, Inc. in Dinuba to refer TANF participants to their new program, "New Beginnings." Open Gate Ministries received a "Faith-based Initiative" grant from the State of California to provide employment and training for individuals in their area. SEE is working with Open Gate to provide services to participants living in the north county. New Beginnings provides training in computer skills, retail sales, maintenance and food preparation. Open Gate Ministries operates a Homeless Shelter, Food Bank, and Thrift Shop, which utilizes the participant in a "real work" situation in order to prepare them for a job. At the present time, SEE has 28 participants enrolled in New Beginnings and job placements are expected as soon as their training is completed.
"SEE's partnerships with local faith-based organizations have been rewarding for the participants," says Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "The opportunity to work in an atmosphere helping others can be a life-changing experience." SEE staff also report positive benefits working with both organizations. "Serving needy families takes a community-wide effort," says Mr. Vidak. "And building ties with other community organizations is the first step toward success."
~ Clothes donated by LOVE, INC. or made by SEE & Co. are often available at little or no cost to program participants.
Employees Honored for Milestones of Service
Seventy-seven Tulare County Office of Education employees were recognized at a dinner presentation on November 14, for their combined 1,345 years of service. County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak commended the honorees, saying: "Your dedication, creativity and hard work are the reason the Tulare County Office of Education is such a quality organization. While we all benefit from your experience, the real winners are the students, teachers and administrators we serve in Tulare County."
~ 35-year employee Keith Lindersmith has worked as a Teacher of the Visually Handicapped since 1966.
~ General Services Administrator Ken Hochnadel relaxes with 25-year employees and friends Pat Monno and Joyce Willis.
~ Ruben Ortiz, Tania Martell and Lorena White were three of twelve 20-year employees recognized.
Theatre Company Holds Performance and Offers New Workshops
The Theatre Company's newly-organized Performing Troupe will hold its first Winter Showcase on Sunday, December 2, at the Rotary Theatre in Visalia. The Winter Showcase, which begins at 6:00 pm, is a recital of collected works from the various workshops the Theatre Company conducted this semester. Students from throughout the county will perform musical numbers, narrations and monologues to illustrate some of the techniques learned in these classes. Performers range in age from 5 to 18 years old. Tickets are $5 and seating is limited.
The Theatre Company also invites parents to enroll students in a variety of workshops that begin in January. These workshops are designed to teach students grades 1 through 12 the basics of theatre arts including singing, dance and technique. New for the spring semester is a beginning tap dance class designed to prepare students grades 6 through 12 for possible roles in the Theatre Company's 2002 summer production of Me and My Girl.
Auditions will also be held for the Performing Troupe on December 10 at 3:30 pm in the Elderwood Room at the Doe Avenue Complex. For more information on the Performing Troupe, the workshops or the Winter Showcase, contact Brian Roberts or Nicole Zweifel at 651-1482.
~ Members of the Theatre Company Performing Troupe presented a few selections from their upcoming Winter Showcase recital at the Longevity Dinner Awards in November.
The Tulare County Office of Education has been awarded a $75,000 School-to-Career grant from the State of California. The grant, which was one of three awarded by the state, will be used to implement key strategies in the recently developed partnership between the Visalia Chamber of Commerce, Visalia Economic Development Corporation, Visalia Unified School District and a host of local partners. Together, these organizations form the Visalia Partners in Education collaborative. The grant was the result of partner efforts over the past several years to increase support and funding for career-related activities and business involvement.
Instructional Consultant Joseph Jimenez has been named one of six statewide Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Cluster Consultants. Mr. Jimenez will be responsible for providing technical assistance to 20 Induction Programs as well as Institutions of Higher Learning within the Central Valley as each moves toward implementation of California's new standards for Teacher Credentialing.
The Tule River Indian Tribe recently donated $30,000 to the Clemmie Gill School of Science and Conservation (SCICON). The funds were raised by the tribe to help support the Circle J-Norris Ranch program.
The fourth annual CyberQuest competition, held at the Visalia Convention Center November 10, was attended by over 80 teams of students from throughout the County. The teams, representing students in grades 3 through 12, gave multi-media presentations about real-world problems. First-place winners in the competition included CyberBrains, Garden Elementary (grade 3); Waves of the Future, Palo Verde (grade 6); Valley Oak Broncos Team 1 (grade 7); Brainy Blondes, Three Rivers (grade 8); Sounds Familiar, Mt. Whitney (high school); The Double RAJ Energy Saving Kids, Linwood (grade 5); Illuminators, Elbow Creek (grade 6); Time Masters, Cherry Avenue (grade 7); The Patriots, Divisadero Middle School (grade 8); AzTechs, Farmersville High School; Lucky Angels, Three Rivers (grade 4); Ener G, Pixley (grade 5); and Power Preservers, Pinkham (grade 6).
Jim Vidak, 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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