Announcer: OTAN. Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
M'liss Patterson: Good morning. I'm M'Liss Patterson, and I am the director of Adult and Alternative Education programs in Garden Grove Unified.
Alisa Takeuchi: And I am Alisa Takeuchi. I'm an ESL instructor, and because of DLAC, I am now the orientation teacher.
M'liss Patterson: And, I just want to say I'm really excited to be presenting this morning. My apologies, I will have to leave as soon as the presentation is done, but any of your questions I'm sure Alisa can answer. So in the Adult Education program, we are fortunate to have two campuses that we can offer classes, and both are conveniently located to freeways and public transportation.
Alisa Takeuchi: So we currently have about 29 part-time teachers in all of our different departments of ESL, ABE, HSE, VESL. We have an adults with disabilities class and our CTE classes. We have classes in the morning, in the afternoons, and in the evenings. And surprisingly, since COVID, our afternoons have surprisingly increased in student population, whereas before, it was just mornings and evenings that had our highest population. And then now, we also conduct three classes on Fridays.
M'liss Patterson: We have quite a diverse population ages 18 to 80, and we represent 14 different languages. As you can see, most of our students are in the ESL program that we right now, we are proud to say we have close to 1,100 active students. This year we had close to 2000 register and start with our program that is down some due to obviously the restrictions of COVID and the challenges, but we're very proud that our programs have continued. Our high school diploma and equivalency classes have really grown, and we continue to partner with Santa Ana College with automotive classes, and we look to the future to add more CTE classes.
Alisa Takeuchi: So because of DLAC and the IDEAL 101 course, it really benefited us as an agency, and especially because M'Liss is our brand new director. I think that it really helped her to see our Adult Ed program in a very broadway. And then, the IDEAL course really helped us to narrow down our goals because, as we all know, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out some goals, especially during this past year because a lot of our goals were very short-term. We need to get this done right now. We need to get this done within the next few weeks. It was hard for us to see the future, especially a two-year program.
And so, the IDEAL course really helped us to narrow down some of the goals that we really wanted to focus on. And so, because of that course, we were able to narrow down some of the goals that we wanted to get done right away, and then for the future as well. We were able to support our teachers and our students in different ways that we didn't know that we would need to, especially because of online instruction. We were able to monitor their progress in a more efficient way with more data and just statistics and timelines that really helped us a lot.
I think M'Liss really benefited from the specific chapter on just for administrators, which in my experience, it's not very common. You don't really see a lot of just administrator sections, and I feel that really benefit for her. And then, of course, the feedback that we got from Destiny was invaluable. Just having her knowing that she was supporting us and having our back, answering our questions, she was always there for us, really comforted us.
M'liss Patterson: Yes, definitely thank you, Alisa. So many great things out of the IDEAL 101 and DLAC. And I was really anxious as a year when director in a new program to step into this team, but I'm so glad I did because it has really given me some tools, I think, to make some great changes here. So one of the most important things that we looked at was looking at improving our marketing. And so, as I examined past practices of how we were marketing our program here, we used to make these beautiful color brochures and, we mailed them out to every member of the city of Garden Grove.
And as I looked at the marketing costs of that of the printing and the mailing, we were over $10,000 in this investment. And I couldn't find anywhere in the data that this was actually bringing students into our program. And so, with some support and tools that I learned in the spring, we did a postcard mail out. And what we did is we went back to three years of students who have been enrolled in our program at any time. We sent them out. We had three languages: Spanish, English, and Vietnamese. And the total cost of printing these beautiful postcards and mailing them out was just a little over $300. So that savings from over 10,000 to only 300.
I was able to put that in other areas in the much-needed technology area. So we've become even well informed, better informed, and we're super excited to be doing another mailer now to talk about our fall programs. And we know that we'll put all of the languages on one postcard, so we've just learned so much there. In addition, what I learned through the program is talking directly to my fellow colleagues in the district. In Garden Grove, we have 67 TK-12 sites. And so I wrote personal letters to every administrator and shared our brochures, and guided them to the website, and I was able to step into their admin meetings and talk about our programs.
And so we know now through Alisa's orientation class and our online registration, and we ask people how did you hear about our program? And both the postcards and the administrators, and the district word of mouth have been our best investment. And then, we were also able to-- through Alisa, she made great connections to the city of Garden Grove, and they partnered with us and put our website and our brochure up on their city website.
Alisa Takeuchi: So one of the major goals that we had for DLAC was the orientation. We had previously had somewhat of an orientation where students would register, and then they would get an appointment to take the courses tests and things like that. But it wasn't really anything that we standardized and really made sure that all students went through the same process and learned about our schools. What are the expectations from them? What are their expectations from us? And so, I was able to develop a new slides orientation and invited students for either online or in-class orientation.
So for the first bulk of the year until April, everything was online. All of our classes were remote, so all of our orientations were online. So I started the orientations in Zoom in January, and I was able to go through and introduce the students, kind of the Zoom format because many of them have never been on Zoom, so that whole idea of what it would be like to be in a class in Zoom? Can they hear me? Can I hear them? Do they know how to mute and unmute, start their video, stop their video, chat?
So I was able to practice and kind of preview what it would be like for their classes so that when they actually got enrolled into one of their classes, they were already familiar with the process. And then, that took the burden off of the teachers a little bit. And then, on April 5th, we welcomed our students back into the classroom if they wanted. So we asked our Zoom students if anybody felt that they wanted to come back into the classroom. They were more than welcome to. And then, any new students that registered, they had up two pathways. They could do online instruction, or they could do in-class instruction.
And from the registration that I was able to either give them a Zoom orientation or in-class orientation. The Zoom orientation took about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how many students I had and what their tech skills were needed. And the in-class orientation takes about 15 to 20 minutes. And we went through the processes of checking their temperatures. They used our agency-created QR code for a health screening every day. And then, I was able to take them on a tour of our campus and show them exactly where to park and where their classroom was so that it was a seamless transition for their first day of school.
Between January and April, I did about 87 online orientations, and then just in two months of our in-class, I did 67. So there was a really good discussion yesterday about how are we going to get students back into the classroom. There is kind of a need, but it is a slow process, so we need to be still a little bit patient about that.
So this is just an example of what our Zoom classes looked like. This was kind of at my pic. When we first started in March of last year, it was everything I could just try to get my students back in. I lost 50% of my attendance overnight. And then, slowly, as we got into about May or June, and then again in September when we started the new school year, I had about 25 students online.
And now, since April 5th, we have what's called Hyflex, where students are choosing their path, whether they go in-class or on Zoom, and so this is just a picture of my classroom. So here, I have four in-class students. And then, I have my Zoom class, and then that's my setup. There's a plexiglass separating us between myself and the in-class students. And then, the in-class and the Zoom students can see on the projector what it is that I'm teaching that day.
M'liss Patterson: All right and something else that really impacted us in a positive way was time with Dr. Porter and his strength-based leadership. So using and encouraging those strengths, it was great for Alisa and I to recognize those, and also with our coach, Susan. And taking the five elements of a highly effective team because we were excited about all the changes. Now, how are we going to take this out to the rest of the team? And so using those skills that we learned through Dr. Porter, and I think, it's been so helpful. We've really been met with great acceptance, and we see some other leaders stepping up on our campus and taking these ideas and wanting to run with them.
And then, really setting a culture for change and learning as a new director coming on and looking at past practices and what are some things that we really need to do, especially now that we're in such a pivotal time to change academics and really be here for the members of our community. And helpful tips on handling conflict, and then also empowering our communication skills.
And then, of course, the challenges and barriers that I know all of you can relate to are time and money. First is starting with Alisa and I carving out time. We're both very busy, and so we found ourselves on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons meeting and talking, which we set up time on Mondays, but sometimes things happen, and we weren't able to always meet. And then, of course, money. We wanted to make some changes, and we needed to do some immediate changes, but then where's the money to make that happen?
And I think on the next one, so the changes from just the admin point of view really were first and foremost was to get technology in the hands of our teachers. And many of them had never used a laptop. They were still on desktops. And to Zoom and go into the Hyflex model, so we needed to do that. We also needed to get technology for our students, and we set up a technology check-out program for the first time and piloted that.
As our district said that teachers were mandated to come back to campus, I was busy preparing a safe classroom environment, making them feel comfortable, letting them know I was really concerned of their health and well-being. And then, also when the district said, OK, now you've got to open doors to students. And then, we needed to get the appropriate technology to do that as well, not just laptops, but we need to projectors and document cameras and all kinds of hubs and wiring and things to happen.
And so, we also had to get creative with testing. As we all know, that's the bread and butter to our programs. And so, how were we going to do this safely? And then empowering our marketing skills, taking it to the next level, thinking about what are we going to do for to get more people back as the fall semester is around the corner. And then, we moved all of our registration completely online, and that was huge. That saved hours of clerical time and old-fashioned triplicate paper. And this is just a more streamlined and easy, convenient data collecting all languages. And it just really changed everything about our program. And then continuing with that professional development and using technology correctly.
Alisa Takeuchi: And so, from the teacher's point of view, we went into three phases. First was survival. When COVID first hit and our school was shut down, I mean, overnight, it was literally like all the teachers pretty much scrambled to try to reach out to their students as best as they could, as best as the teacher's knowledge could, and then also, as far as the tech for the students. So that meant everything from texting to calling to try to email, and then just trying to do anything that we could to connect with the students to say, hey, we're still here, come back if you feel comfortable online.
And then, phase two was the new school year, September of the school year, and really kind of streamlining everything that the teachers were going to do as far as our program goes. And that also meant being in the classroom for 2 and 1/2 hours each class. So some of us were teaching two classes, so that was five hours of Zoom every day. And what did that mean for us as teachers and as for the students? So really being mindful about taking breaks in between, not the really long ones, where students leave and come back, but just even just closing your eyes and relaxing for a few minutes, and kind of getting your mind away from the computer. And so that was super beneficial for both teachers and for students.
And then now, with phase three, it's our Hyflex, where now we are welcoming students back into our classroom. And what does that mean for the teachers? How do we set up our classrooms? How do we feel comfortable with these safety procedures that were in place? And so that's moving on into now we'll be going into our next phase of the fall, which we still it's yet to be determined.
And so, on our next steps, we are continuing with our marketing. We are going to really like M'Liss had said, we were going to take our postcards. We had three separate postcards for different languages, and now we're just going to combine them into one, so every household or every house that we're going to send them to will get just one. And we will continue with the recruitment and screening. We will revamp the orientation. So the orientation that I had developed it's good for what it was right now, but now we also can see that there's a lot of improvement that could be made with it.
And one of the challenges that I had was really screening the students. Now that they have a choice between in-class and online, is kind of vetting them. If they're choosing Zoom, but their tech skills are not quite there, and they're not ready yet to go into a classroom, then we're actually going to have some tech support for them. So they'll go to through some other classes and learn how to be a little bit more tech-savvy before they enter in, or we can also just encourage them to go into the classroom if they feel comfortable.
For the orientation also, we're going to combine the orientation with so registration orientation, and courses test all in one because the courses test, the pre-test really hit us hard, and we didn't start doing them until almost March. So that was really late for us, and so now we're having to hustle to try to get the post-tests done. So we'll definitely revamp that. We are continuing with our tech support for staff and students. And then, because this is a worst year for us, we'll have our worst in October. So we are going to align all of the things that we've been learning with our DLAC goals, our WASC goals, and our CIP goals. And that's really been piggybacking on each of them. So that's really benefited us.
So we just appreciate it. We're very thankful for the DLAC program. We appreciate all the support that OTAN has given us, Dr. Porter and Destiny. And if anybody has questions or comments, to I'd love to hear from you.