Speaker 1: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Jill Wright: Welcome to our DLAC mid-cycle report. We are from Oxnard. And my name is Jill Wright. My current focus is ESL. I'm in my sixth year of teaching at Oxnard Adult School.
I've taught different levels of ESL, including multilevel literacy and citizenship. I'm contracted at 20 hours per week. I'm currently the ESL lead, tech support teacher. I'm on the WASC leadership team, and I'm the DLAC lead. And I'm so pleased that Viki is my team member.
Viki Costa: Hi, I'm Viki Costa. I am a TOSA, teacher on special assignment. And I work closely with adult secondary education and the ESL programs. I participate in department meetings and work to support all of our teachers.
I've been there for years now. And I am a full-time district contracted teacher, which is at 30 hours per week. I am the WASC coordinator. And I take the lead role working and writing plans and completing the surveys with the principal. And also as you guys heard, Kathy Greaves is our principal. And she wants to introduce herself really quick. We would love for her to do that.
Kathy Greaves: OK, my name is Kathy Greaves. I can turn on my camera for a second here. So I worked for Oxnard Adult School on and off since 2010, principal of the alternative independent study school, Condor, all over the district, as well as the Oxnard Adult School.
And during the non-pandemic years, we have about eight sites that operate, plus the main site. And our exciting news is that we're moving into a new building. Next fall will be ready to rock and roll. And we've made mega adjustments in our curriculum delivery. And I'm very proud of what our staff has managed to do during all of the restrictive COVID times that we've had.
So, excellent job. I'm lucky to have Viki and Jill as part of the staff. They are perceived mentors for everybody, which is why they're participating in this offering. Thank you.
Jill Wright: Thank so much Kathy. And thank you for supporting us and our project. And also, as we're giving out thank yous, thank you to Dr. Paul Porter as so many other people have said, we are also learning so much about our strengths.
Viki and I do work well together. One reason is because we share a core satisfaction in identifying problems to be solved and then working hard with friends to solve them. That's our Relator strength.
Viki Costa: Dr. Porter has given us the true gift and he's been able to provide us with strategies and tools that it makes an impact utilizing our strengths as individuals. As you can see, Jill and I have several strengths that are similar, but he's also taught us and collaborated and worked with us as a team and helped us become a smoother team by giving us each an example of recognizing and maximizing our individual strengths and to work closer together.
Jill Wright: Thanks also to Destiny for facilitating development of our side project and guiding us through that. And it's really, really helpful.
Viki Costa: A very special thanks to OTAN. Their entire staff has always been supportive for Jill and I. I know they've been very responsive to us, but a special warm thank you to our coach and mentor Susan. She has been a true leader. She keeps us committed and focused to reach our goal. And we've had some great laughter and fun together as well while we're trying to meet these little objectives to meet our goal. Thank you.
Jill Wright: All right. So Oxnard Adult School is in Ventura County. We serve adults from Oxnard, Port Hueneme, and Camarillo, they're the surrounding cities, since 1937. We are part of Oxnard Union High School District. We offer classes in Career Technical Ed, Adult Basic Education, ESL, Adult Secondary Education, US Citizenship.
We have a program for young migrant students. And that's supported by district categorical funds. And this program supports them as they transition successfully into ESL, ASE, and CTE classes. Until the pandemic, we had classes at the main campus and 10 off-campus locations. ESL was offered at eight those offsite locations.
Also until the pandemic, we had between 7,000 and 8,000 students enrolled. And with COVID, our total drop to about 4,400 due to COVID and then other reasons as well.
Viki Costa: Oxnard is in Ventura County. And the total population of Ventura County is 847,000 roughly. And it encompasses Oxnard, Camarillo, and Port Hueneme area. So most of our students are from those three areas. However, we have been finding, we're keeping enrollments at other locations as they start to move out, and they can participate in the remote platforms.
Oxnard Adult School student enrollment is predominantly Hispanic. So that's where most of our students are Spanish speakers. And a majority of our students have a maximum of a ninth grade level education. And our student population is slightly higher in the female population.
Jill Wright: Oxnard is known as the strawberry capital of the United States. Other significant crops are lemons, lima beans, celery, and cut flowers, all grown on 259,000 acres of rich farmland.
Viki Costa: Although Oxnard is well-known for its abundant crops, some of the other sizable jobs include education, health, and professional management. Manufacturing and tourism, hospitality, and other dominant employers are in our area.
The naval base and our deep water port in Port Hueneme are a significant part of our economy of this West County. This breakdown also shows that we have a bright range of needs in our communities. So as you can see, our student population also reflects that as well.
Jill Wright: Before we started in DLAC, we encountered the following barriers and challenges. We had an uneven distribution of technology services and resources and lack of support for tech use. We had a need to change and expand thinking. We were trying to ferment OAS culture. There was a shift from pre-conceived notions of learning to incorporating technology as a learning medium and a move forward with technology.
Viki Costa: Well, once the pandemic hit, we did not know how long we were going to be away from the school. Originally, we thought it would be one week. And it turned into two weeks. And it turned into a month, and then all of a sudden we got notification and it's going to be the rest of the year.
So you can see us gathering PPE. We're trying to continue welcoming and collaborating with everybody. We're just trying to keep our personal connections together and staying in touch with one another and staying in touch with our students so they have a connection to our school.
But once we realized we did not know when we were going to return to campus again, that this pandemic was real and it's not going away so quickly, we decided we need to move forward. We need to start accepting that we have to make a change, all of us. And we have to make distance learning work.
But how? Well, we decided we needed to not just stay connected, but we needed to start collaborating. We realized once we wanted our-- we really wanted our students to attend class, but we knew we could not have them return to campus. So how can we do this? How can we keep them to continue learning? How can we teach them?
Can we do this remotely? Well, once we realized our students don't have the resources, we don't have the skills or, for our teachers, our resources. Well, we knew this was going to be a difficult thing for all of us. So we must make a shift, and we decided we were going to do this and we had to do this together as a team.
Jill Wright: Changes that we've made-- Sorry, Viki.
Viki Costa: No, go ahead. You're up, ready to go.
Jill Wright: The changes that we have made to continue moving forward include remote testing for all EL Civics assessments, more desire to try and utilize online learning platforms. Many viewpoints have shifted away from paper and pencil to using text simply by being available and participating in how-to sessions. Teachers are learning to accept that they don't know everything and, yes, we will make mistakes. And teachers are more willing to collaborate with one another and ask for guidance from other teacher leads.
Viki Costa: So what's next? Well, we know this is an opportunity. It's a shift in our education system. I think it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us. So we need to now make sure we can offer a variety of delivery models that will work for all students, even as we start returning back to campus, even during this pandemic and get back to the real world, because not all of our students are going to be able to come back face-to-face.
And we need to know technology is not a trend. It is here to stay. So let's utilize the resources even when we're back on our campus.
Jill Wright: So in June, we're going to be moving to a new building where technology will be more available. July, we're writing a curriculum for design for face-to-face instruction that teaches students the technology skills required to be successful in online learning. And we're planning also on sharing this out when we've got everything in place.
And August, when we start up again, we are planning on teaching and delivering through different mediums-- distance learning, hybrid, and face-to-face, August and going forward.
Viki Costa: You know this has been challenging but in a very exciting year. And we are extremely excited that we get to continue working with the DLAC team. And it's been a lot of work. And we are so excited that we can bring all these tools and strategies that we've gained from each one of you back to our school system and back to our school site to our students and make this happen.
We have a wonderful staff and team, not only in our school site, but with our district. And we feel that we can go ahead and move forward, especially with the DLAC help, and everybody that's a part of this team because each one of you have helped us. And our co-DLACers, you guys have been so instrumental to Jill and I keep continuing to move forward. So we really appreciate all of your help. So it takes all of us to make it happen.
Jill Wright: I agree with what Viki said. And this year has been one of tremendous growth for us. Thanks to DLAC, the pandemic, and all the challenges imposed by impending move-- oh, and our WASC mid-cycle report.
When the pandemic sent us home, we grew because we had no other choice. It was painful. DLAC has helped us articulate that growth and format how we can share these accomplishments with other teachers and students at our site as our day DLAC project. Our orientation to online learning curriculum unit will provide a medium for students and for teachers ongoing and online proficiency.
Like Vicky said, and so many other people said, technology is not a trend. It's here to stay and we feel it's our responsibility to facilitate this growth so our students can meet their needs and their family's needs. We must move forward to remain relevant.
Viki Costa: You know, what we want to also say, we're definitely, just as Jill said, we will share once we develop this curriculum and move forward. Obviously making changes as we go through to see what works and what does not work. We will share with all of you, because we also want to receive your feedback and to see if we can add anything else to it.
But we want to thank you again. And we will send you a copy of the presentation, if you would like. You can see both of our email addresses there. And again, we want to thank Kathy, our principal of Oxnard Adult School for supporting us through this and making sure that this happens. And now we can continue with our DLAC program and our projects. So I want to say thank you to everybody.