Longtime FFA advisor Troy Van Bavel and Adult Education Program Coordinator Adele McClain presented the current status of their respective programs during Thursday’s regular meeting of the Lucerne Valley Unified School District’s governing board.
To demonstrate the current state of the High School’s FFA and Agriculture programs, Mr. Van Bavel utilized a unique approach: His presentation was made with each meeting attendee viewing the NearPod interactive teaching app, which he uses on a daily basis with his students. After logging onto the online app site, he asked a series of questions, which the attendees each answered on their mobile devices, such a cell phones and notebook computers.
As an ice-breaker, he played the beginning of “Ring of Fire” and asked who the singer was of the song. The answers popped up on Mr. Van Bavel’s mobile device, which was projected on the Media Center’s smart screen. Some got the correct answer — Johnny Cash — others gave other names.
Over the next half hour, he led the interactive presentation taking the participants through a virtual class with multiple questions, a video message from both himself and advisor Danielle Hickman, and others. Mr. Van Bavel asked the participants to write down one thing that has been positive about 2020. Perhaps surprisingly, there were numerous answers with Lucerne Valley Elementary School students utilizing a hybrid plan of in class instruction and distance learning being a top one.
Mr. Van Bavel ended with a positive look at a very challenging year. He said the school district had been working on becoming a “one-to-one” district. (One-to-one means that every student will have their own computer.) The state closure of schools last Spring, which meant all schools had to implement distance learning, had the effect of speeding up the one-to-one process. As a result, all students received their own personal Chromebook laptop computers and internet access for all students is becoming a reality.
“What do teachers need to know? What’s needs to happen? Then we started figuring things out. Now kids maybe they’re not so scared to take an online class in university or college. I think we all rose up to a level we needed to be,” he said.
LUCERNE VALLEY ADULT SCHOOL
Over the past few years, the Lucerne Valley Adult Education program has grown 200%, from 30 students served yearly to the current 90. Also, community surveys have indicated that the Lucerne Valley’s greatest need is high school completion or equivalent (HSE) followed by English as a Second Language ( ESL), computer classes and CTE to lead to gainful employment, Ms. McClain said.
The high school diploma class is taught by Nancy Monson, and Rene Jamie teaches the English Language Learner class.
Several agencies including TODAC, Victor Valley College and Catholic Charities of the High Desert help the Lucerne Valley program to provide supportive services to students wishing to learn English and attain citizenship. The program hopes to add career readiness courses next year, Ms. McClain added.
The Lucerne Valley Adult School is part of the Victor Valley Adult Education Regional Consortium, which was established in 2014. Other adult schools include Apple Valley, Hesperia, Snowline, and Victor Valley. According to the statistics provided by the consortium, 32% of the region’s 393,703 live in poverty. Twenty percent do not have a high school diploma, 16% are unemployed, 42% are English Language Learners, 10% are adults with disabilities, 14% do not have U.S. citizenship and 16% have literacy issues.
Lucerne Valley Adult Ed students can meet one-on-one with a Victor Valley Transitional Counselor at various locations. Student workers and K12 support staff create a Educational Transition Plan with each student based on that students particular needs assessment and goals. College degree programs: Certificates, Associates Degrees and Transfers, complete education plan, create a Webadvisor account, enroll in college courses, and discuss career options, according to Ms. McClain.
Despite the challenges of 2020, the school district’s enrollment numbers continue to climb, Superintendent Peter Living said. Opening in August at 831 students, the district is reporting 845 for the month of September. Lucerne Valley Elementary has most of the students with 481.
EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH
Mathematics teacher, coach and athletic director Brandon Barkley and Lucerne Valley Elementary School office manager Karol Thompson were named certificated and classified Employees of the Month, respectively at Thursday’s monthly meeting. To learn more, click HERE.
The following actions were taken by the board:
• The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the district and the Apple Valley Unified School District for providing Adult Education services through October 31, 2022.
• The board approved a variable term waiver for English Learner instruction for Jacob Sedillo to teach Cadet Corps courses for grades 7 through 12, and Steven Gaskell to teach Public Service CTE courses for grades 7 through 12 for the 2020-2021 school year.
Also during the meeting, School Board Member Ruben Medina was greeted warmly upon resuming duties after taking time off due to a personal matter.