On March 13, 2020, Governor Newsom announced the Shelter-In-Place order for the state of California. In the months preceding the governor's announcement, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan organized district leaders, including myself and Vice President Hon Lien; Assistant Superintendents Norma Rodriguez, Wendy Zhang and Jonathon Brunson; Director of Tech Services Chin Song; and Association Presidents Diana Orlando (MTA) and Machelle Kessinger (CSEA) to discuss a variety of hypothetical pre-planning situations based on information being received from international family members, community leaders, Stanford research and district thought partners.
What if the Coronavirus (COVID-19) made it to the states? What would it take to ensure learning continuity? How do we pivot from in-person to online? How do we effectively engage MUSD leaders, teachers, administrators, student nutrition? How do we inform parents and students effectively? How much would it cost? These questions and others were quickly answered in the months to come as the Board approved the creation of the Distance Learning Plan, entitled “MUSD EducatEveryWhere, the budget for additional technology,” and more.
Director Song and his Tech Services Team were truly unsung heroes. They did an amazing job of training, equipping staff and students with the technology needed to move from in-person to online. They set up drive-through laptop pickup stations at the district office. For those caregivers and students who didn’t have transportation, our principals, secretaries and administrators brought laptops to MUSD schools and homes. Yes, there were bumps in the road but these paled in comparison to the quality of effort to ensure learning continuity for MUSD students. During the first 3 days, our Tech Services Team distributed more than 1,500 Chromebooks!
In the midst of the technology rollout, Assistant Superintendent Rodriquez, along with Tech Services and a cadre of teachers, did an amazing job locating our own shining stars to lead our own professional development. I saw teachers collaborating with each other like never before. I know it wasn't easy but it was (and still is) awesome! I watched office administrators teaching parents how to log into Chromebooks for the first time ever. I witnessed siblings and friends teaching each other how to use Google Classroom.
While MUSD played its part in learning continuity, the Milpitas community responded in kind. We were getting information from parents who had family in China and other parts of the world. We received several large financial donations, deliveries of PPE, thermometers, hand sanitizer, and food security volunteerism led by Director Sandy Huynh and team. Board members Hon Lien and Kelly Yip Chuan partnered with several community organizations, friends and volunteers to make and distribute thousands of masks to parents and students. Board members Michael Tsai and Minh Ngo both volunteered to distribute food, masks and other PPE supplies around the town. Teamwork makes the dream work!
MUSD EducatEveryWhere v.1.0 began as a one-stop shop for coronavirus information, resources to teachers, and new roles and responsibilities for team members. MUSD EducatEveryWhere 2.0 now includes resources for parents of students receiving special education services, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) ideas, how-to videos, and numerous lesson plans developed by MUSD teachers and others to support distance learning
The MUSD leadership team continues to find ways to strike a balance between human safety, supporting our students online effectively, and when possible, bringing our students in most need to one of several onsite campus locations across the district for in person learning support. We are ramping up our staff testing and researching vaccination site possibilities through multiple avenues. MUSD EducatEverWhere v. 3.0 is on the horizon…….
To learn more about MUSD EducatEveryWhere visit:
To learn more about MUSD COVID-19 testing and planning visit:
More to come.....