Speaker: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

M'liss Patterson: Good afternoon, everybody. And I wish I was there in Sacramento with you. But I'm M'Liss Patterson. I'm the director of Garden Grove Adult Education.

Alisa Takeuchi: And I'm Alisa Takeuchi. I'm an ESL instructor and a newly CTE instructor for Garden Grove Adult Education.


M'liss Patterson: And this is a shot of our campus. And I just wanted to let you know that we are centrally located in the east portion of Santa Ana, and we sit alongside two very busy intersections, and excited to say that we have a 9 acre campus. So we're very large, and lots of parking.

And this busy street-- you can't see it, but this is the reason we'll get a little bit further in talking about our marquee and marketing program. But you can see it in the back, and this lovely tree that provided shade was not safe. And they have taken that away, so we're excited to see that the front of our campus is very warm and welcoming to our community.

Alisa Takeuchi: Let's go ahead and talk about our staff. As far as our teachers go, we have 29 part-time teachers. And we are very fortunate now that our consortium has provided us with two full-time TOSAs, Teachers On Special Assignments, who are here to help us navigate through the systems. And they're here for our support and to really connect us with our other adult agencies in our consortium, and then all of our community colleges as well.

We house ESL, ABE, HSE, AWD, CTE. And we provide classes in the morning, the afternoon, and the evenings. And then, also on Friday mornings, we have our Citizenship classes.

M'liss Patterson: So currently, we serve adults between 18 and 80. And I'm proud to say we have a little over 1,600 students who are active. While this is down significantly from our pre-pandemic days, it has also increased significantly from our first year in DLAC, which was the 2021 school year.

And as you can see, the bulk of our students are in our ESL program. But we are very proud of our very large citizenship and our Adult High School Diploma program. And we also have an Adults With Disabilities program, and we serve 24 cities. And I counted up today 46 different zip codes for-- make up the attendance of our community.

Alisa Takeuchi: And so because of that unique situation, we are actually in three consortia. So we are active adult educators in three different consortiums, so we have to pull our weight in different directions to meet the needs for all three of those.

So as you can see, one of our biggest goals and our transitions from pandemic to opening up our classroom is the HyFlex instruction. We've been very, very fortunate in that we were able to open up our school very early because Orange County went into the orange tier very quickly. And so Garden Grove actually mandated that school go back in-person.

And so M'Liss very much advocated to our board because adults are different. They're in a different situation. And so we have a lot of seniors in our class, and they just weren't ready to come back into the classroom. And we would have lost a lot of students.

And so she advocated for us, and they did allow us to have online classes at the same time. So M'Liss was able to really look forward into our future and say, yes, we want to do, instead of hybrid-- at different times of blended learning, we were going to do simultaneous instruction.

So that was a picture of us at the very beginning, where I had four in-class students from the remote students. And most of them still stayed on as Zoom students. But then, when the new school year started in September, then the tides kind of changed. And now we have much more in-class students than we do Zoom students. But we are still offering the Zoom option because we still wanted to make sure that we broke down the barriers for our students and that they were able to choose their instruction model.

So when we decided to do DLAC, when I decided to do DLAC, M'Liss was a brand-new director. She had just started. We were right at the beginning of the pandemic.

And I said, I think this might be a really good program for us, and so I know it's going to be a lot of work. And being a brand-new adult education administrator, it was going to add on to it. And she said, nope, I'm right there with you, because I think that it really helped her to organize and to really foresee how adult education works.

She was an adult ESL sector with me 18 years ago, and then she was also our night administrator once every couple of weeks. So she knew how the process was. But then to be delved into it in a full-time position, it was really, really mind boggling, just acronyms alone. She was very much pushed back.

And so being part of the DLAC program was really helpful for us to sit back and say, what are the goals for us? What do we really need to do? One of the big things also was that we had many, many goals because it was a new transition for us into remote-- from remote to HyFlex.

We had a lot of short-term goals, and we really couldn't see the future of two years. Like, what is a two-year goal to us? We had eight one-month goals. We wanted to finish these up very quickly.

And so listed on the slide, you can see that a lot of these were what many of you have already talked about, creating an orientation, and increase our marketing and social media, and then really just figuring out, how does the HyFlex model work? And so through that, we really did a lot of trial and error.

And we were really, really excited about this, though, because of this. We have been able really to reach out to a lot of you who have had questions because you knew you were going to be doing this and used us as the learning experience, learn from our mistakes and our trials and errors. And we were able to do that through lots of presentations and a lot of trainings.

M'liss Patterson: Yes. And like Alisa said, even though DLAC was yet another acronym to add to the pages and pages of acronyms, it's just been really the best choice. And so when Garden Grove mandated that we open up our campuses, part of that was, how do we tell our students that we're here and that we're offering this HyFlex model?

So we looked at our marking programs. And I saw in previous years, in printing alone a multicolored beautiful brochure and sending that out-- it was over $20,000 a year before we paid postage and all of those other things. And so I wanted to really look at a cost-effective way. And DLAC really guided us, opened this conversation, and allowed us to say, examine this, and what are you doing?

So we created this postcard. And I really think it transformed because it gave me a bigger budget to apply to other areas of marketing, hence the marquee that I talked about. And I think we had gone to the online registration. So we wanted to let our students know, look, you don't need this color brochure. There's a safe way for you to access the catalogs.

I also wrote personal letters to every single administrator in the district, and I sent these postcards to them. And then Alisa that was so great about using her connections prior to the pandemic, and we got the city of Garden Grove to actually put our link on their city website.

Alisa Takeuchi: So like all of you, once you were able to open up your doors and invite students in, we had to figure out, how do we orient our students so that they are the most successful, that they can be on no matter what platform they chose, whether it was online or in person? So we created two different orientations.

So we created the in-class orientation, which, at the time-- because we were only online. We were only remote directly for one year, so from March to March. So March of 2021, we opened up our doors again. So we had a lot of health mandates. We had to do temperature checks. We had to do health screenings and things like that.

So we had to let our students know, the brand-new students that were coming to class, how that process works so that they felt safe, they felt comfortable, and that we were meeting the agreements of the county. And then also, with our online situation, most of our students-- they learned the hard way, like we did at the very beginning of the pandemic. And they suffered through with us.

But now we're having some new students come in. We really wanted to create an online orientation for them so that they knew how to even get into a Zoom account. How do they mute? How do they unmute? How do they stop video, start video, things like that, so that when they actually went into their classroom, they were already prepared. The teachers didn't have to take it upon themselves to go through that training with them, and that really, really helped us.

M'liss Patterson: And like all of you, or most of you, we also went from a paper registration form that was in triplicate to an online registration form that was offered in three of our most used languages. And this really streamlined the process of collecting data on registration as well, but it also freed up the clerks that I needed to be able to support our orientation program. So it was a pleasant surprise. And in addition to that, it allowed me to gather data that I began sharing with the teachers, really enlightening them, too, about the students who are coming and the process of registering our students.

Our team has really grown and benefited from the 102 course. I want to say, probably the most impactful part of that was the sessions on rubrics. And Alisa and I grabbed that and took that, and we not only used them to look at maybe future purchases.

But I wanted to know already-- I had invested so much, that we created rubrics to go to our staff and our students and ask them about the OWL cameras, ask them about those online learning management systems, like Burlington English, Edgenuity, Lexicon, and they expanded online portions of Ventures.

And then what we did is we transferred those from paper rubrics into Google Forms. And as you know, when you use a Google Form, it allows you to really have powerful data discussions. And as I said, that's what I learned from the 102 course also, was how to really help my staff be better data informed.

And so you'll see in then next slide, when you take the Google Form and you break it down like this, it gives us these nice pie charts. And so these became discussions. These are responses from the Teacher's version asking them about the Owl Camera. But the student versions were similar.

And if you can see, the red and the blue are both the highest ratings, Superior and Strong. So we learned rather quickly that our teachers really preferred them for different reasons, but so did our students. And I could share that information back and forth.

Alisa Takeuchi: So with the challenges and barriers that we faced in the last two years, instead of writing this list down, we really sat down and reflected on the past two years, not just from the DLAC program, which really helped us, but also just looking back through the pandemic and all the things that we did, the HyFlex, all of our goals.

And so we asked ourselves some of these questions about, are the changes that we made with the marketing-- were they cost effective? Were they leading to the increased enrollment that we were hoping for? Did we make sure that all students receive communication and attend orientation? Because that was one of our barriers there, is that they would register online.

We would send them information about coming to orientation, and then a lot of them just wouldn't show up. We had a whole list, and a lot of them just didn't show up. And we didn't understand where that disconnection was from.

Well, what we found out was that a lot of students said that they didn't receive our email because they were going into their junk mail or their spam. And they don't have that access to understand, to check those things. Even for us, sometimes we find things that somebody has sent us a long time ago, too. So what we did to resolve that issue was that our liaisons would actually call them or text them and because we know that the students will respond better on phone.

Also, we wanted to make sure that the teachers felt supported and trained for this HyFlex. We did a rollout. Some of the teachers-- we had about eight that came in right away. And so eight of us practiced with it and played with it. And then we developed a training system for the other teachers when we received all the other OWLS. And so that's been really helpful for them.

So now our goals for year two is that we really wanted to incorporate what M'Liss was saying about the surveys, and also to continue with that. We were very fortunate, unfortunate that we had WASC and SIP and DLAC all at the same time. And so instead of really doing different things, we really used our experience through DLAC to create these goals and to incorporate them in our WASC and in our SIP. And that really helped us a lot.

We really stayed consistent in what we wanted to do for our agency. And so as an agency, we developed our new Student Learning Outcomes, our SLOs. And we now call them LEAD. And we really utilize that with all of our students, that we really make sure that they understand this is what we are doing for them.

M'liss Patterson: So our takeaways from DLAC. We really appreciated Dr. Porter's and Destiny's-- they encourage us to take risks and the things we covered in 101 and 102 were great. The collaboration with our coach and Tustin Adult School-- forever grateful for that, and of course, Destiny, Dr. Porter, all the OTAN Leaders.

And I think in our next slide, we have a couple more things to talk about. I know we're running out of time. But thank you, Dr. Porter, really, using and encouraging the strengths, identifying leaders on our campus.

[high-pitched ringing]

The effective-- highly effective team.


Alisa Takeuchi: That's my own timer.


M'liss Patterson: Setting a culture for change and learning, handling conflict. And finally, I really have to-- I'm so excited about what I learned and what we're learning, going to continue to learn through cultural proficiency, just a greater awareness of our implicit biases, creating an inclusive and supporting campus. And that's really going to be taking us as we move forward.

Alisa Takeuchi: And so we just really want to wrap this up and say a huge thank you, of course, to our coach, Susan Coulter, and to Penny and Neda for all the support that they have provided for us, and of course, all of you. [chuckles] Thanks.