Since the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health directives and school closures that accompanied it, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has been working on innovative and creative ways to continue its mission of providing leadership to ensure students are prepared for success.
Electronic materials have been a key part of these efforts. For example, SCOE launched a listing of remote learning resources for educators and parents, which it continues to expand. It published an online guide to managing emotional wellness, including resources vetted by SCOE mental health experts, at a time when many people are experiencing increased levels of anxiety and stress. It also produced a variety of enrichment videos, meant for families and educators, which have also been featured on the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium cable TV channels.
To support local educators who are starting the school year with a distance learning model, the SCOE Curriculum and Instruction Department hosted workshops to support local educators in building both their students' and their own capacity for remote learning. The sessions, which sold out in 48 hours, were conducted through the Corwin publishing company. Each attendee received a free e-book called The Distance Learning Playbook for Educators, which was just published in July. More than 500 educators in Sacramento County have now received training on distance learning at no cost to them.
CCSESA “Star Award”
SCOE’s Executive Director of Technology Services, Jerry Jones, has been instrumental in leading technology endeavors at SCOE as students and staff have faced numerous technological challenges during the pandemic. The Computer, Network and Telecommunication Support (CNTS) Department has worked to safely and reliably keep everyone connected remotely, prepare and deploy laptops to students, and support districts and schools as they clear a myriad of hurdles.
Jones was recently recognized by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) for his work in co-chairing a committee to develop disaster recovery resources and templates that could be used to develop specific plans for individual education organizations across the state. The resources were distributed to county offices of education last November. Jones also collaborated with the CCSESA Technology Steering Committee in March and April to compile a list of supplemental online learning resources that was distributed to education agencies statewide. The CCSESA Technology Steering Committee has awarded Jones its “Star Award” for 2020.