RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
In this difficult time, LACOE remains committed to improving the lives of students and our educational community through service, leadership and advocacy. Here, we share best practices, tips and success stories from the county’s 80 districts and LACOE as we innovate and adapt together to ensure continuity of learning and safety of students, staff and families.
Campaign aims to uplift teachers
This has been a historic year for education. Across the board, educators stepped up to the challenge of completely transforming learning and student engagement in the midst of a public health crisis. The LA County Teachers of the Year program recognizes the best of the profession in the state’s largest honors competition for K-12 educators. On Oct. 1, Superintendent Debra Duardo presented 10 LA County educators with the “Teacher of the Year” designation in a virtual ceremony.

In partnership with the Greater LA Education Foundation, LACOE is committed to sharing stories of teachers that have made a lasting impact on the lives of their students to highlight the importance of the teaching profession.

Tell us about an educator who made an impact on your life using the hashtags
[#💗LACoTeachers] and [#💗MyTeacher] or tag us @LosAngelesCOE on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Remembering a great teacher
As a 7th grader at Le Conte Middle School in LA, Superintendent Debra Duardo got her first chance to take on a leadership role thanks to a teacher's care and guidance.

Superintendent's Student Advisory Council launched
Recognizing that student voice in the decision-making process is more critical now than ever, LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo has brought together 35 students representing school districts across LA county in the first-ever Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. Selected from more than 200 applicants, the students held their first virtual meeting with Duardo and members of her leadership team on Oct. 8.

They will continue to meet on a quarterly basis to engage in conversations focused on educational equity, student well-being and other topics of concern to provide insight on key issues facing youth and how LACOE can best support them.
Rising to the challenge: return to in-person learning
LACOE has worked closely with the LA County Department of Public Health since the transition to distance learning in March to ensure that we are engaged in health and safety conversations that affect school communities during the pandemic.

Superintendent Debra Duardo is most recently focused on how LACOE can support the county's 80 school districts to implement the protocols required by Public Health to safely return students to school campuses. In a recent visit to LACOE's IPoly High School, Duardo joined Public Health in an assessment of the campus to better understand the challenges that school leaders across the county face and how LACOE can best support them during this time to ensure student equity in learning.

Public Health provided positive feedback on IPoly's return-to-school plan for small-group in-person services for students with special needs. The plan contains the return-to-site checklist, exposure plan, expectations, sample bell schedules and more.


Educator expands learning beyond confines of juvenile hall
Teaching at LACOE’s school at Central Juvenile Hall in LA is always a challenging job — even more so during a pandemic and distance learning.
 
But that hasn’t stopped Ramiro Palomo from creating a learning environment where his students participate in activities that allow for introspective reflection at a very deep level.

“Mr. Palomo extends learning beyond the classroom in a place where that is almost impossible,” said Principal Michael Massa. "He always finds ways to make sure the students connect to the learning process with activities that make school relevant.”

In collaboration with longtime partner The Beat Within, Palomo gives his students the space and encouragement to write and share their perspectives. He is particularly proud of 15-year-old student “CB,” one of the program’s most consistent and prolific participants. He was excited to share her writing of self-discovery and hope for the future despite a life on the streets.

LACHSA ranked best in the nation for the arts
Congratulations to Principal John Lawler and his incredible team at LACOE's LA County HS for the Artsjust named the #1 Best High School for the Arts in Amerca by Niche.

Fondly known as LACHSA, the tuition-free public school combines college prep academic instruction with conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts. LACOE has proudly operated LACHSA on the campus of Cal State LA since its founding in 1985.

LACHSA is the training ground for the county's top teen talent, who include junior Leilani Patao, recently chosen as one of 12 winners nationwide in the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge.

The 12 winners were chosen by review panels of professional theater artists in a blind competition from almost 200 applications submitted by high school students in 41 states.

Happy 70th, Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes school district!
Nat King Cole's “Mona Lisa” topped the charts and a gallon of gas cost 18 cents when the Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake school districts joined to form a more perfect union.

Both districts were founded in the late 1800s by pioneers, electing to join on Oct. 10, 1950. The oldest school district in the Antelope Valley, Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union SD has served generations of families who call this rural LA County community home.

With 179 students at last count, the district may be small in size but big in its expectations for student achievement. Congratulations to Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union SD on 70 years of educational excellence!
LA Times reporter Laura Newberry profiles LA County Teacher of the Year Rhiannon Chavez (LAUSD) and four others, who share their personal stories of rising to the challenge of teaching during the pandemic.

LACOE General Counsel Vibiana Andrade, formerly with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and LA County Board of Education member and MALDEF President Tom Saenz are featured in KCET's “187: The Rise of the Latino Vote.” The film chronicles Prop 187, a California ballot measure that sought to deny public services to undocumented immigrants.
Resources for Families & Schools
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Share photos, tips or experiences from your school or school district: communications@lacoe.edu