Type of Practice: Leadership
Program Area(s): ABE / ASE, ESL / EL Civics / Citizenship, CTE / Workforce Prep / Pre-apprenticeship, Adults with Disabilities, K12 Success
Region: Los Angeles Basin
Consortia Involved: Los Angeles Regional Adult Education Consortium
The impact of COVID-19 reinforced the need for the consortium to provide faculty and staff with significant, consistent and targeted professional development to support their transition to remote education. In response, Lunch with LARAEC was created: weekly, virtual, moderated sessions open to all LARAEC member-district personnel as well as practitioners from across the state.
The advent of COVID 19 had a seismic impact on Los Angeles Regional Adult Education Consortium (LARAEC) member districts. It necessitated the swift transition to an online setting and created new gaps in service and problems of practice as it related to the move of instruction, counseling, registration and support services to a remote environment. Member district surveys at the time reinforced the need for the consortium to provide faculty and staff with significant, consistent and targeted professional development to support this transition. Consortium action planning teams, who are tasked with supporting annual and 3-year plan objectives, also needed a platform for collaborative sharing to support this transition and to communicate their work to the field.
In response, LARAEC created Lunch with LARAEC: weekly, virtual, moderated sessions open to all LARAEC member-district personnel as well as personnel from consortia throughout California. These sessions allowed the consortium to regularly connect with the field through targeted, high priority professional development and the sharing of relevant best practices. It gave LARAEC Action Planning Teams, member-district subject matter experts, and outside professionals a common platform to share their expertise. It also enabled the consortium to quickly respond to evolving training needs and provide a portal to disseminate essential information. In short, Lunch with LARAEC became a conduit for the consortium to address the immediate needs of faculty and staff and provide a forum for practical help and connection.
Lunch with LARAEC reimagines how training can be delivered, how essential information can be provided to the field, and how the consortium can connect with teachers and staff. The model is simple yet effective. It uses zoom as its delivery platform, the LARAEC website to market the training, and member-district support to direct faculty and staff to the training. The sessions are recorded and housed on the LARAEC website, allowing teachers and staff to benefit from the training whether they are available for the live session or not. Indeed, given that California consortia typically have their own websites and access to zoom, this program is easily replicable across the state.
Lunch with LARAEC has become an essential part of the consortium’s communication infrastructure. The LARAEC Board considers it a priority item and will continue to offer Lunch with LARAEC for SY 21-22. The sessions have raised the profile of the consortium and allowed it to connect with the field in a way not possible before. The numbers support this. This past school year, via Lunch with LARAEC, the consortium was able to present 17 moderated sessions that provided over 18 hours of professional development and included over 1613 participants from our five member districts as well as personnel from over 18 different California consortia. More than 580 people accessed presentations via the curated sessions on the LARAEC website.