Announcer: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Susan Coulter: Want to welcome you to TDLS and especially welcome to Success. And you've noticed it was after COVID. We're going to say through COVID. But it seems like we're getting near the end. So we kind of went back and forth as to what to say.
My name is Susan Coulter. And I'm one of OTAN's DLAC coaches. And I want to introduce our panelists from Garden Grove Adult education. We have Director M'Liss Patterson. Wave, M'Liss. There we go. And teacher Alisa Takeuchi. There we go. And from Tustin Adult School, we have coordinator Will Neddersen.
Will Neddersen: Hello, everyone.
Susan Coulter: And teacher Virginia Burrows. Now I'm going to turn it over to M'Liss to tell you a little about Garden Grove.
M'liss Patterson: All right. Thank you, Susan. And thank you to all of you who've chosen to attend our session today. I want to start off by saying I'm just so grateful to DLAC and the professional friendship and partnership that we've been able to develop with Tustin Adult School. So appreciate that and also the Susan's coaching.
As the director of Garden Grove Adult Education, very excited to celebrate 50 years of serving the adults in our community. And we currently offer courses on two campuses. But most of our classes are offered at Lincoln Education Center.
In the next slide, you will see a breakdown of who we're serving. So right now we have students on our campus between 18 and 80. And I'm happy to say that when we added this number to this slide, it was 1,057 active students. And currently we are up over 100 active students.
So our ESL program, of course, is our largest program as you can see. We offer ABE, GED, Citizenship, Pronunciation. Really proud of our High School Diploma Program that's grown to over 100. And then we also offer our Concurrent High School Credit Recovery. We have an Adults with Disability. And very proud that we actually serve individuals from 24 cities in our community.
Alisa Takeuchi: All right. So as you can see on our slide, we have 29 part-time teachers in many different departments with ESL, ABE, HSC, VESL, which we don't really call VESL anymore. It's our CTE English support classes. Adults with disabilities and CTE. We offer classes in the morning, in the afternoon, and the evening, Monday through Thursdays. And then we also offer a couple of classes on Fridays. Oh, I'm sorry, go ahead.
Susan Coulter: No, I was just going to say, thank you from Garden Grove. I believe we are passing it over. No, not yet. I'm sorry. Continue.
Alisa Takeuchi: Well, Susan. So as you can see, we at Garden Grove are ensuing the HyFlex model of instruction, simultaneous instruction where we have students in the classroom and online at the same time. The photo on the right, you'll see students in the classroom using Chromebooks, as well as on the big projector, you see the Zoom students who are also learning at the same time.
Susan Coulter: There we go. Now for Tustin.
Will Neddersen: So hello, everyone. I think it's pretty awesome. I need to echo what M'Liss said. It's been great to be able to join DLAC. But with that really formed this bond with Garden Grove Adult School. It's pretty neat. We at Tustin Adult School are based in South Orange County. But we're another important point in South Orange County. So we service to different areas of the Orange County components, Garden Grove more northern, us more Southern.
And if you don't mind moving to the next site, we're based off of one site. But it's weird because we share a couple of different locations. Our program is much smaller than you'll see our colleagues here in Garden Grove Adult School. But I think that's trying to help give the perspective of two agencies and what we're doing.
We're pretty excited to say that we have a total active students of 593. That is growth or returning back to adult ed. We saw significant drop last year. We've almost doubled in size from last year, not in the heyday of 2018-19 where we were almost 1,200 students. So we're still seeing that. Our ESL population is growing back right now at 415. Last year we were about 200.
So it's really great to see that population coming back and starting to see some of that lower ESL population return, which is pretty neat for us. And then our citizenship which we only serviced about 25 students last year has already increased back to 62 this year. And then ABE was another area for us that was quite small, almost doubling in size. So we're pretty proud of that.
We did see growth last year that continues this year in our adult diploma and equivalency prep. And then our age range, it's pretty cool that we have individuals from the age of 18 up to 82. And they are determined. We have two 82-year-olds that are here and committed to learning English, which is pretty cool. And we have 12 various languages that are spoken at our school besides just English itself and just really proud of this.
I mean, go to the image of our graduate right there in that far left corner. That was from our fall graduation. We've already had a total of 17 individuals who've graduated or completed their equivalency and looking to grow that as well. But we were able to celebrate that group in fall. So just great things that are happening. And then you see that top left-hand corner-- I mean, right-hand corner, our citizens celebrating citizenship as well.
Virginia Burrows: All right. There it is. Tustin Adult School has 28 part-time teachers. Some of our teachers literally only teach one day a week. So there's kind of a niche for everyone. We have one part-time counselor. Our program areas include ESL, ABE, diploma equivalency. We still call it VESL, even though that's an older term for it. We don't have a very-- it really is more like VESL than CTE for us. And then we have a citizenship program.
We don't have any afternoons. So our programs are primarily offered mornings, 9:00 to noon, or evening, 6:00 to 9:00, Monday through Friday through the mornings and Monday through Thursday for the evenings. We do have a Saturday program. And our classes are offered both in-person and online.
Susan Coulter: Both Garden Grove and Tustin are part of OTAN's Digital Leadership Academy, more affectionately known as DLAC. The goal of DLAC is to help agencies meet their technology integration, distance learning, or blended teaching goals. It is a two-year program. And this cohort will be competing in May with their final reports.
DLAC is open to all California WIOA-funded schools. And applications, I heard in the keynote that they were opening in April. So be sure to check OTAN's website for DLAC under the Trainings tab at the top of the page to learn more. And they have been a wonderful group to be working with. Question one, what prompted you to apply for DLAC?
Will Neddersen: So this is interesting, I think, coming from a smaller agency and my background itself. Before hitting the adult ed world-- this is my fourth year in adult ed-- I was an elementary school principal in our district, a teacher in our district, and those components. And moving in to Tustin Adult School, digital tools was not a big thing for us.
We were very paper-heavy, loved our paper, loved those components. The tech that we had was really being able to use a document camera to replace that overhead projector, if you think about it that way, some basic elements that were there.
So really looking for Tustin, it was, how do we start integrating technology to make it a great tool for our teachers as well as a skill to invest for our students to look towards the future, whether it was workplace, job place, or just supporting home as well? So that was Tustin's stance of what we originally went in with. It was the idea of how to get that integration into our instruction using digital tools. M'Liss, how about for you guys in Garden Grove?
M'liss Patterson: I think pretty much the same. Well, it was for me as a brand new director, stepping in and being offered this opportunity to be a part of DLAC. Really I learned how important it was to survive through this COVID, that we needed to increase our use of technology, empower our teachers to make their way through this.
And I was fortunate to have Alisa invite me. She's kind of an OTAN star, as many of you know. And so I knew that this would probably be a great progress. I think we have a couple of slides. Well, Susan, if you want to go forward with the first one. Well, there's some things I think on the next slide. Oh, OK, sorry.
Susan Coulter: The work for year one of DLAC had agencies create goals. What goals did your agency create? And how do they continue to support your agencies during COVID?
Will Neddersen: So I think I get to talk first for Tustin. So M'Liss brought up some things that's interesting. So you heard me share Tustin's original reason for applying really was about a digital integration just into our instruction in trying to build or base the need for those components to come and affect our students as well.
I think COVID came as we replied and sort of shifted everything that was the plan and really set new goals for us or opened our eyes to what some of our goals should be. So for us, we started looking about, how do we onboard students to get them digitally prepared?
As you heard from me in Tustin, we lost almost 65% of our students with COVID. Part of it was because they were-- students were nervous about technology, didn't have access to technology. So we really learned that our students needed to understand what it was. I would say a majority of our students that remained with us either had previous technology skills or somebody to support it.
So we really wanted to look at that goal of how do we build that in supporting our students? I'm going to be honest with this. It's also supporting our teachers and learning the technology too. I think that's a part of what that goal means for us. Again, understanding how to build a marketing presence. It used to be word of mouth. And when we didn't see each other through COVID, how do we get that element out there? What is it that we do? You'll hear more.
We've learned something from Garden Grove in that that we did as well as a couple other things. And then for us, you heard Tustin. We love paper. Paper was a really good friend of ours. So CASAS eTesting up until this year was only paper-pencil testing. We were fortunate enough to be able to through our district's approval process bring students in to come paper-pencil tests. So you can see that that allowed us to at least get the assessment components going but really wanted to move forward with eTesting.
And then distance learning, I will be very honest with you. Prior to COVID, prior to DLAC, what we would call distance learning is when I sent home a DVD player and a packet with putting English to DVDs that students would watch. And then we would do a check in here and out. But really we weren't looking at a distance program.
So that was a big goal for us. What's that clear expectation? What's that learning going to be like? And then I'm going to go back to teachers. And it changed for the second year. But first year was really about teacher professional development. And so that way, they felt comfortable with the tools and could integrate those with our students as well.
Alisa Takeuchi: And so for us at Garden Grove. It was twofold. Like Will said, we applied for DLAC. It was right at the forefront of COVID. And so we were trying to decide how we were going to move forward in our next school year and how that was going to look. And because M'Liss was new also, we wanted to make sure that we created goals that would help with our whole program.
And so we had decided to develop a Google Classroom for all of our teachers, no matter what department they were in. And so then teachers went through extensive PD on how to create a Google Classroom for their class and then how to get the resources and share the resources with their students.
Our other big, big component was to register students all online. Prior to COVID, it was the traditional triplicate where the students would come into our office. And then they would fill out their information, including the WIOA information. And it was on paper. And so our front office clerk, he developed a whole Google form with the exact same information.
And then now students were referred to our website. And then they could register for any classes that they would want to take on that Google form. And then on top of that, since now we were doing everything online, we had to create an orientation. We had to create something that the students could use to help them be successful in our program.
So we created both an online orientation and an in-person orientation. At the time, we were only using the online registration because we only had remote classes. Once we were able to open up our school again, then we would use the in-class orientation to help students navigate our program so that they could be successful and navigate through our system. And remaining one more. No, M'Liss, I think this is you.
M'liss Patterson: Oh, OK. All right. So, sorry. So yes, the other part of it is increasing our marketing and social media presence. We were able to create job boards and really market our programs. And then the HyFlex model of instruction using the Owl camera has really been a huge change for our students. It makes the learning environment a little bit richer for those who choose that distance learning.
It's also shown great growth with our staff being able to go from sort of basic use of zooming to a really complex model of screens and instruction, live instruction. And then another goal that we set through DLAC was helping our students use their school email accounts.
Susan Coulter: How do you feel about the DLAC program? What's been beneficial?
M'liss Patterson: So I think I get to start with that one. And will and I are going to bounce this one in Virginia too, I think, back and forth. But I think the first thing that I can say about what I appreciated were those top two bullets really coming together.
Dr. Porter led us through strength-based leadership. And as a brand new director on campus, being able to really look at my staff and to be really strategic about identifying strengths and bringing them on board and using those strengths to then have the courage to be risk takers.
And we know that that's really what we need to do if you're going to try to grow your program or recover your program as we did through those campus closures. And so I just really appreciated the sessions we had with that, the collaboration that we had with Tustin, who was very similar. And our demographics were both in Southern California. And so that DLAC opened that door and provided those opportunities for us.
Will Neddersen: So and I think something to make mention. The past two slides, we were talking about what our programs are doing. That was all based off the first year, setting our goals, and moving that work forward for us. I think that came with-- if you look at that third point there, it's the IDEAL 101 and 102 courses. DLAC brought in some course work with that.
The 101 was focused on foundations of distance education and blended learning. For an agency that we hadn't approached that, it was a great process. It chapter by chapter broke down areas that maybe we didn't think about and really gave us resources and questions to really think through.
Virginia, I'm fortunate enough to have her as a teammate. I had an original teammate in year one that again found a full-time job somewhere else. But Virginia was able to be a part of the reflection with that as part of our team and then moving in now, going through the 102 course, which we'll get a little bit more into.
But it's really about resource evaluation that we get into. It's just been great reference material to give us really ways to think about what our next steps are, again, blended learning, distance learning, partnerships with Garden Grove or other partnerships as well, and hearing everybody's responses to the questions from the courses.
Virginia Burrows: Honestly, I think COVID had the potential of being very isolating for most agencies. But I think DLAC really brought us into a spirit of collaboration. You're in a statewide project where you get to meet with people from other agencies top to bottom. Every area of California experiencing similar and yet different things.
So obviously, you have the support and collaboration with OTAN, including our wonderful coach Susan. We get to work with other agencies. Some are very different. Some are very much like ourselves. There's the regional partners, which is-- again, we also appreciate our partnership so well with Garden Grove Adult School. Just a very similar location and in some ways similar population to serve.
It also fostered collaboration amongst our own faculty. The things that we brought home from DLAC really came into our staff meetings and professional development and really fostered that whole idea that you can lead. This the leadership academy, but you can lead from any position.
Will Neddersen: Very empowering. I agree with you on that, Virginia. I love how you say bring it home. Really taking what we learned from these support from-- Destiny led the IDEAL 101 and 102 courses. Dr. Porter brought up that risk taking, leadership-based, engaging in difficult conversations, all of those components.
Then we had Susan, if you were there at our welcoming keynote. Penny and Nadda are always there, Marjorie, like everybody. It's a resource and support that you really bring through. So I feel like I've been able to network. Even though COVID might have separated us, I think there's a stronger network.
I know that I can send an email out. I can make that connection or bring it up in a meeting. And I feel empowered. I know it's a bummer to think that we're closing out year two in one sense of this component. But I know that I have resources. And it's been great to know it's up and down the state of California too.
Susan Coulter: Can you describe the progress that has been made in meeting your goals?
M'liss Patterson: And I think I'm going to start that one off. And I think the first-- something that we learned early on was about marketing our programs. And given the changes that were going on, we definitely had to look at how are we going to do that? How are we going to be able to bring back our students who did not return and then also increase that?
And one of the first things that we looked at here at Garden Grove was how we had been sending out over the years an expensive multipage mailer. It was absolutely beautiful. But I wasn't really sure of the impact on it. And so I met with my leadership team. We talk this through. We looked at the things that come in mailers in our own homes.
And then we talked about this in DLAC. And so I went to the printer that had been supporting us with that brochure. And I wanted to still support local business. And the printer helped design that top right postcard that you see up there. So we were able to still give a visual what was going on our campus, but in multiple languages, share with them that we now had online registration.
And we chose to go back. And we mailed those out to every student who had been on our campus in the previous three years. And we feel that we had a pretty good response to that. Because our campus was closed, we relimited the number of people on campus. We made the smaller signs that you see on the top left. And that gave outside instructions.
And we put some of these postcards outside so that people could walk up to our doors and our campus. We wouldn't have to have that as many physical contact, but they could still get a clear instruction now on how to register online and see our course catalog online.
Will Neddersen: I think something I'm going to add to that, this partnership again. I sound like the kumbaya moment of just really appreciating Garden Grove, but hearing it in the postcards. And we had a brochure that we were trying to produce knowing it wasn't making it out to anyone.
Garden Grove inspired us this past year to try and do that postcard as well. But I didn't have a printer, maybe not the great skills. So I used canva.com. And that lower one that is in the blue and the whites was able to put our images into a preset formatted component of a postcard, really truly was postcard size, and to build a postcard out that we then printed through Canva.
Printing classes were decent. again. I'm a smaller school, so we send out about 1,500, going back to that past three years of the moment like was recommended from Garden Grove. And we spent honestly-- I think the printing of those postcards, small, 5 by 7 postcards was about $300 for the 1500s. It was there edited, all those components to Canvas.
So when you just put that plug out there, if you're not using Canva, that's a great resource to make your postcards or flyers if you want something looking a little different and professional. Maybe you don't have that artistic mind. But we resecured our process of distributing flyers through our schools as well, trying to get those out knowing that schools were sending information out. And then that social media component. Really trying to communicate.
I know Garden Grove, you guys use that social media to really just see what's going on in our school and letting them know that we're open. I think that's a huge piece. And then we've seen supporting us word of mouth. Now that some students are returning back in person, that word of mouth is helping us but again, low staffing. I don't know if anybody else is affected by it, but just trying to get staffing members.
I could open up more classes currently because I have waitlists. But it's now trying to get the word out of staffing, hey, we'd like to hire you, or competing with those full-time jobs too. So that's that recruitment side and marketing side that would go on. And I know if we move on, I think we'll get to registration, if I'm not mistaken here.
M'Liss, if you're OK with me, I'm going to start this one off and maybe you can add to it. Really registration had to be shifted. You heard me talk about testing of paper. We didn't have the triplicate form like our partners in Garden Grove, but it was paper.
You had to fill out a piece of paper for us to really see if we're going to register and being shut down. And we couldn't let people in to come fill out forms or wanted less touch points. It really was about getting registration online. So we're using Google Forms. I believe, Garden Grove, you're also using Google Forms as that initial registration form where we're collecting information again.
We do have to think of the balance of security. So I know for Tustin, we're not collecting Social Security number and things like that. But it's been pretty amazing to have that registration process go through there. My office staff can now see how many people are registered. It's a common practice for them to go in and see.
I think what's great for me in year three and now year four, we've been able to see-- or we've had so many people who've registered showing that they're interested in getting that comparison to those that are actually coming in to either assess with us or enrolling in classes and being able to do follow-up phone calls from it a little bit easier because we've got that list and that component. So the online registration form has really been pretty powerful for us. M'Liss, do you want to add anything to that or?
M'liss Patterson: No, I would agree with you. And I think a surprise bonus that came from moving to the online registration form is our registrar now has a more accurate account at all times about who really is active in the system and moving students out when they're not returning. And so it's eliminated a wait list for us. Obviously we're down in our numbers. But I know in the past, we did not have that accuracy. So that was a nice surprise that came with that online registration.
Will Neddersen: And then the other thing I would put there that we learned from our partners in Garden Grove-- and I know, Alisa, you were part of the team that was leading that orientation program that was going on for Garden Grove. It's just requiring that you come in and do that. So we in Tustin call it orientation and assessment. And we schedule it.
Again, we're trying to use another tool. It has adds to it. But we use signup.com, where we tell people after they've registered-- we send an email out that they click on that link and can choose the day that they want to come in, that they're not having to call the office.
If they call the office, we help them as well. But it's just that tool to say you get to choose. And the empowerment signup.com sends reminders for me. I'm not having to send that out or work with my office staff as well, but really having individuals come in to do that assessment and orientation with us.
M'liss Patterson: Yes, and Garden Grove, yes. I'm going to turn it over. At least it's going to talk about the assessment.
Virginia Burrows: Right.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Virginia.
Virginia Burrows: Go ahead.
Alisa Takeuchi: OK. So at Garden Grove, we had really redeveloped our assessment because like Tustin, we had been kind of procrastinating on the whole eTesting situation. But right before we closed down for pandemic we had just started using eTesting.
And so that was very fortunate for us because it really allowed us as an agency and then some of our students to understand how to get the testing done. Now, during the pandemic, that first year, it was very difficult for doing pretesting and posttesting, trying to do it remotely as well as so many other agencies. Once we did, we were able to come back. And we started year one DLAC.
Then we actually were able to go back and think about the process and how do we fix this situation that we were in. And we went back, and we trained office staff to become proctors, which really alleviated a lot of stress for everybody because we had only one or two at the time. And now we have a full staff that can proctor eTests.
Our other thing that we did that was very beneficial for us was that we were very intentional now on when we were going to schedule our posttests because that whole COVID year, we were just scrambling and doing the survival tactics of trying to test anybody that we could. But then once we came back, we were very-- like saying, let's do the posttesting this time, this time, and this time.
And we really stuck with that. And that helped a lot, as well was saying about orientation and assessment. We now also do that so that as soon as students come in, they get their orientation. They get that pretest done. So that is off the table. There's no question now that all students come in with a pretest.
And then as far as just for our agency, we use Ventures. And so students are tested on the unit after we have completed the unit. And so we had developed either testing so that online students could take it or also the in-class students now that we had been open-- now that we had opened up our school. And Virginia is going to go ahead and talk about Tustin's agency.
Virginia Burrows: Yeah, very similar. Pardon me. We didn't pull the trigger on eTesting until this year. And actually, I mean, it does require a lot of training and our office staff. And I have to say, I take my hat off to our office staff. They've really rolled with it. And it works. But I really sometimes think our faculty really doesn't understand how many eyes are on that to make a student show up in a class. It's quite a system.
But the eTesting is working really well. And as the bullet point says, it actually makes the Listening Testing easier to do. We do have the need for that. And sometimes logistically, that was just difficult. And it's less difficult now. So that's one bonus for that assessment piece.
We don't use Ventures we use Side by Side. But it's the similar thing where we have unit tests. We are also a federally funded agency, so we do COAAP assessments. And then I'm sure very similar to Garden Grove in terms of how assessments are run through our high school diploma and through our equivalency preparation students.
And I think I start this one now for instructional practices. For core curriculum, one thing that we didn't test-- and we added Burlington English kind of in the middle of our pandemic experience. We had some access through our core textbook. But we realized we really need something with a very rich online courseware.
So that really helped put curriculum into the hands of students. That was a very big deal for us. And it really gave us a way to give students to do more work at home and in a very engaging way plus they were using all these new tools.
So Burlington English plus just making better use of some of our paper-and-pencil curriculum that had online components. We're doing better work with that as well. Do you want to jump in now, Alisa, or do you want me to do the end first?
Alisa Takeuchi: Go ahead and do the end.
Virginia Burrows: So we're going to drop to that fourth bullet which says, students' reception of new skills or supports being used. We're using primarily iPads in classrooms. And a lot of our students were not familiar with iPads. And so we are seeing because we're taking them into classes with help from support staff and from other faculty members that our students are just loving it.
Having it in class made it feel safer rather than trying to do it separately. They're enjoying it. They're willing to take more risks. It definitely has boosted confidence. And I've been that person going into a beginning lit low class. And I hear the students say, we love the iPads. When are we going to use the iPads again? And I don't think we would have heard that necessarily two years ago. We had the iPads, but we weren't using them as well. So I think it's actually boosted our instructional practices.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, I completely agree, especially with your assessment about how technology was welcomed into the classrooms prepandemic, then all of a sudden surviving during the pandemic. As far as team meetings, for Garden Grove, we've been very, very fortunate that our directors have been very supportive with us and that we actually incorporate professional development and team meetings by levels of ESL or departments weekly.
And so we are able to collaborate with our coworkers on best practices or challenges and things. And so we have a very real grasp of what's happening within our levels and how we can support each other. And then we can also meet with the levels either above us or below us or both into suggestions of transitions. And so that's been very, very helpful for us.
We also have been very fortunate in that one of our consortium-- or one of our consortia has sponsored us getting Burlington English licenses. And so again, that was a very-- at first, it was a very small portion of licenses that we were able. So we kind of incorporated it somewhat slowly.
And then now as the push began, we got more and more and more. And so many of our classes now have access to Burlington English, which has been a really big boost for us. And so that has really helped with bringing the 21st century skills into our classrooms and getting our students really-- one of our student learning outcomes is Digital Navigators. And that's really one of the driving forces for us.
Will Neddersen: Alisa, before you click off on this, may I add one more comment to that?
Alisa Takeuchi: Sure.
Will Neddersen: Talking about that collaboration, again, in Tustin, we don't meet weekly. You guys are fortunate. But through COVID and everything else, we learned how to meet as teams online. And it's been interesting because coming back when we could come all in person, January came right after winter recess. I'm not sure how everybody else's districts were thinking or evaluating with Omicron and COVID variants and all of that.
We were able to look at our ESL team and say, you know what? We're still going to have a collaboration, but we're going to take it online and go through Zoom. And it still was a rich, powerful collaboration because we've learned breakout rooms and things like that.
So I think that's the other piece of surviving through COVID and after we give ourselves those options. I know my high school and equivalency and ABE teams will meet online for half of their team meetings. The other half will be in-person as well. So we're seeing that it can be worked both ways as well. So that instructional practice is really reflecting back into our teachers as well. So thanks for letting me add that quick bit there.
Alisa Takeuchi: Of course.
Susan Coulter: We'll be going to professional development with Virginia.
Virginia Burrows: Yeah. My boss, Will, has an expression he likes to use about drinking from the firehose. And I think at the beginning of the pandemic, we all felt like we were drinking from the firehose. It happened so fast. I actually got to the point where I'm like, please don't try to teach me anything else. I'm done learning for a while. And I'm sure our students felt the same way because it was just a lot.
So the teacher PD that went on at that time and as I'm sure many of the agencies of those of you with us today, it was a lot. And it was a crash course. The second bullet was something that we've kind of learned from this, is that now we have the luxury of maybe providing a nugget rather than drinking from the firehose, rather than that overload that really kind of went along with the territory of COVID hitting us two years ago this month.
So our PD now, I would say, it always includes something technological so that people can use it in a classroom and for our online teachers so that it's something that is happening no matter how you're teaching your class. So those skills are-- even if we got the crash course at the beginning, we're reminded of them. We're learning new ones but like smaller sips.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, that's such an important component to things because when the pandemic first started, the teachers were drowning. We had also become students because we were trying to learn so many things at once, at the same time trying to teach our students. And so it was very difficult. And so was trying to just survive and get all these resources in.
Again, just piggybacking what we talked about before about our weekly PDs in bullet three. Just being able to revisit some of the tools that we were trying to learn very quickly and really turn around the next week and say what worked, what didn't work, really was helpful because most likely, sometimes agencies have a staff meeting maybe once a month if that.
And so you learn some tech skills. But then you don't see anybody for a long period of time. And either they just drop off or people get frustrated or they have questions. And then there's nobody to turn to. So we were really able to come back in our weekly meetings and talk and share with others what worked and what didn't work.
Our toasters, they did a really, really good job of really incorporating within our weeks, bringing in some other toasters, our district toasters, tech toasters and to share with us some skills and develop our professional resources to help our students the best way they can. And again, it was just being able to learn it and then use it.
And then a lot of times, we would do it within our PD itself. We were not just listening to a directive, but we're actually doing at the same time. And that was with courses, or that was with data. It was with so many other elements that we needed to learn. And it was hands-on. That was what I think our teachers really appreciated.
Will Neddersen: So I think that something came out that we've been reflective in talking as agencies, is the support staff professional development that really came out from that. It really was not only teachers understanding how to use the tools and even thinking of G Suite. How do we use it for our instructional purposes? But then bringing it back, you heard us talk about for our recruitment or registration, we went to Google Forms.
So there really was a training for staff on what that is, what's our process for enrolling now? Has that changed from that paper base? And pulling that information out. So it really was-- I know for us in Tustin, sitting down with the teams, this is how we see Google Form.
This is how we're going to get our students to understand it or just going through the registration process where it's not a, oh, come in. We're going to lead you to our website. Click on that image there. For at least us in Tustin, the link is right under this large picture. So we always say, go to our page under the large picture. Click on that link and understanding that.
And then understanding how to communicate with our students, that orientation and assessment for us using signup.com. We have a process that we-- even on the Google Form, my office staff through training process knows that they put their initials so we know who sent that email. That way, we can do that follow-up.
When somebody says, oh, I didn't see it, we clearly see that that's been identified. We have a staff member that does it, our color coding and highlighting components that go into it. So really that training of the process is something that's been important.
And then we in Tustin have this Digital Skills Survey that's been part of our orientation that we have students fill out to really see if they understand how to send an email, how to search on a website, those components. So it's just making that a process that we've had to train through and meet with our teams. And M'Liss, I'll let you keep going. I feel like I can keep talking forever. Sorry for that.
M'liss Patterson: It is exciting to see that through DLAC and our collaboration with other agencies, especially Tustin, hearing their practices. And so this was something that was exciting here, is to really empower our office staff with additional jobs. I think traditionally people kind of stayed in their lane. And this was this task and her task and his task. And so we learned through strength leadership to really find those strengths.
And I saw this office of my clerical staff just kind of come to life. Would you try this? Can you come to this training? My toasters were fabulous in putting in those supports and those strategies. And I think it's just really changed the whole dynamics in our office.
And one fun thing that I learned early on in DLAC was just the importance about routinely checking in. And so when it was just my clerical staff on campus and my teachers were still off in the distance, I started a stand-up meeting every Friday. So we could meet at 8:15 every morning.
Because it was COVID, we wanted to make sure we were spread out and masked. But it just has become a really fun thing on Friday mornings just 8:15. You see everybody heading up for-- and it's all of them. My custodian makes his way up. And the staff members come around. And we're sharing now.
And people are sharing about what projects they're on. And then the toasters are there. And they know, OK, this week we're going to work with so-and-so and this and that. And so it's just really been exciting to see that move into the support staff as well.
Susan Coulter: How has your team grown and benefited from the 102 course? But let me say this first. These are some of the modules from the 102 course, which is on resource evaluation. And Will talked a little bit about the 101 course. And that was more getting the site plan together. But these are some of the things that they were studying, different modules within their course that they wanted to talk about. So my question is, how has your team grown and benefited?
Will Neddersen: So I think for us in Tustin, the conversation has been it's more that opening of understanding, how are we really wanting to look at resource tools? Not just say, oh, here's a new resource. Oh, here's another resource. Go back into-- and Virginia quoted me on it-- that fire hydrant here. I can spray a lot of things at you or keep piling on and on and on, but really understanding, is what we're trying to talk about or discuss or reflect on really beneficial?
And I think that that's-- this IDEAL 102 really got us to that point of, how are you going to evaluate that? How are you going to make sure that this is a tool that is going to benefit whether it's the teacher and the student? Is it truly the student?
So it's breaking out these components. And we were fortunate to be introduced to different rubrics to then create our own rubric. So you're going to see for Tustin, that green in the columns is our rubric. We took and broke it around. We have this overall effectiveness that we go back to. That's the top of ours as we go into these different categories about accessibility, usability for the teacher, for the student, looking at financial impact. What's the cost? How is it being maintained in those pieces?
And we went through and we evaluated. And we were encouraged by DLAC to really go into a new tool and something that you might want to use. And for us, Virginia and I, reflectively, our ESL teacher has a little bit-- I don't want to use the term jealous, but wants a tool that can be used both in class and online that students have resources to for citizenship.
And so we've been talking about it. And USA Learns in their citizenship models was something that we went through and evaluated to see what's there. And again, there's been positives as we went in and explored. And so Virginia and I each completed the rubric and came back together and evaluated, trying to look for a program.
So we think we're going to go pilot now that we've evaluated with that teacher and students so that way, they have those resources. But that's the design structure that is there to really say, you know what? Are we going to benefit and not just waste everybody's time component?
So that's where we are. And that's the tool we're using. I think we know that we want to tweak it, especially as you hear what our partners at Garden Grove are going to share and then what we learned from other DLACs that shared because we all get to hear each other's rubrics. We know we want to go back and tweak the tool. But at least it was our starting point to really get deeper into, is this a valuable component or resource or app that we want to be able to use?
M'liss Patterson: Thank you, Will. And definitely the benefit of DLAC and 102 is really looking at your needs and then the idea of this rubric. And they shared in-depth rubrics with us. And then we were challenged to create our own.
And as Will stated, the original task was to evaluate something before you purchase. But here in Garden Grove, we had jumped in. And we had bought the OWL 360 cameras. But there were still additional pieces that needed to come along with that. So we used the rubric for an existing product that we had. And we wanted to really understand, is it being effective.
And then we decided to go one further step. And what we did is we created a rubric for the teachers to respond to. And then we also created a rubric for our students. And so Alisa and I created a Google form that followed the same questions as the rubric. And we put it out to all of the teachers who were using the OWL Camera. And here you can see one of the responses.
So we aligned our student questions to be very much in line with the teachers as well so we would have data that we could compare and look at. One exciting thing in response to all of this was we did find that our teachers really found that the OWL Camera the red signifies their strength right and in most of the responses we discovered that the OWL Camera really was a benefit for the teachers.
And we learned that our distance learners really appreciated it as well. So DLAC really taught us this evaluation and how to look at this and gather data. And now we'll be able to use our rubrics for purchases that we plan to make in the future as well.
Will Neddersen: I'm going to add, it's a nugget, I think, we want to steal in Tustin is the wisdom of putting the rubric into a Google Form so that we could survey that way and pull that data rather quickly. I think it's a great tool to think about and use. So again, a compliment to you guys in the Garden Grove team.
M'liss Patterson: Thank you.
Susan Coulter: What are your agency's next steps to meeting your goals?
Alisa Takeuchi: All right. So for Garden Grove, for our year two because now we're kind of like taking a deep breath, the year one was really just go, go, go, go, go because we really had some long-term goals but many of them were short term. We were just trying to check off the list.
And so now that we are able to kind of sit back and relax, we can actually set some goals that we can make long term. And so for one of them is we really want to strengthen our PD for new technology. So kind of taking what Tustin did and utilizing the rubrics for some new technology that we are thinking about using. And so we will develop a rubric for that.
In addition, though, we would also like to continue to use rubrics as surveys for equipment or technologies that we're using currently and especially again with the teachers and with the students. So we'll go maybe through our Burlington English and then also with our Ventures and really getting a feel for how is it that the students feel about the resources that we are providing for them for their instruction.
And then the last one is that we really still want to develop our orientation because it's an ever-flowing thing. Because we've been so up and down with how the school has been structured as far as in class or online, the HyFlex, masks, no masks, things like that, it's going to be a continual flow of the development of the orientation and to further.
You can see our Student Learning Outcomes. We just went through WASC accreditation, which we got our six years. So that's super, super exciting for us. But one of the biggest proponents was that we had redeveloped our Student Learning Outcomes. And we were super proud of them because we had the whole school working on it together.
And so it's a buy-in. We all bought into this. And so now we are really ready to share them with our students from the get-go, from when they start orientation. They're now being introduced into our Student Learning Outcomes. And they are being sucked into this as well. So this is what we want for you. And we want you to succeed. So those are really exciting for us.
Virginia Burrows: Will, do you want to do this one or shall I?
Will Neddersen: I would be glad to or would you prefer, Virginia?
Virginia Burrows: I'll do the first one. How about that?
Will Neddersen: Go for it. We'll share.
Virginia Burrows: Yeah, for our top three goals, we have identified exploring other ways to support student digital literacy through classes. When we kind of started out, we thought, oh, we'll get to students before class. We'll try to frontload that. I think we're finding great success, especially with our lower level learners, that they're-- we need to get them comfortable in a class and then get the devices in a class in terms of getting technology into their hands.
I think that's been to us obvious that they're more comfortable doing it in a safe and supportive environment. And it's fun. I think they enjoy the fun nature of it. So we just need to continue exploring other ways to support that literacy and comfort.
Will Neddersen: Well, and I think then going back to like shared from our Garden Grove colleagues, this need to really evaluate the tools we're using, the apps we're using, and our curriculum as well, getting that feedback. I know we talked about the differences.
We were asked one way. And Garden Grove approached another. But even that reflective on the tools that we're using currently and what we think digitally, this is the use of an iPad or do you need access to a laptop? Those kind of components and evaluating that.
So we would like to develop those rubrics. And I'm going to be honest. Garden Grove, we're going to steal, put onto Google Forms so that way we can get that data and condense it down but really trying to get that student voice. I think that's the pieces.
Sometimes we get so focused on the educator and the office staff. But it's the students were servicing, so wanting to make sure that evaluation of those resources and digital skills are really meeting students' needs and hearing from them as well.
And then we've always called it the teacher toolbox. How do we keep developing professionally that teacher toolbox with the technology that we have, the new apps, the new strategies that are being used, and really pushing our students' success, I think, whether we do it through co-ops or just our basic instruction? Burlington English has made us have to touch a digital tool more as our teachers balance between the two. So just trying to push that forward as well. So that's what year two is about for us as we're trying to move forward.
Alisa Takeuchi: I'm sorry, Susan.
Susan Coulter: We're not going to-- we're running out of time. It's been pretty amazing. They have a lot to share. And we want to thank our panelists. If you have questions, these are the contacts for Garden Grove and for Tustin. So we want to thank you.