December 7, 2020 – Xmas Newletter
“The Escondido Education Foundation is a community driven fundraising organization which provides funding for programs that empower teachers, inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence in EUSD.”
Dear Escondido Education Foundation Donors,
What a strange school year we have had and are having. Now that a vaccine is looming on the horizon, perhaps the second half of the school year will be closer to “normal”.
That being said, I imagine many of you are wondering what has happened to the donation you gave to the EEF. With the HUGE help of the San Diego Gas & Electric company, Treasurer, Mike Donaldson, gave permission for the board to spend $42,000 for innovative grants! The board had a long conversation with Leila Sackfield (district deputy superintendent), and one of the original members of the Foundation. We all agree that teachers are too bombarded with tasks to take time to write grants this year. She and Dr. Philyaw have been looking for an appropriate program for the EEF to fund. The suggestion from Leila and Dr. Philyaw is to spend the money to benefit every school by purchasing pop-up canopies, which will facilitate getting students into the classrooms for a better learning opportunity.
Schools need pop-up canopies for many activities in the hot weather as well as the winter rains and cold. School personnel can do health screening, outdoor learning opportunities, family nights, PTA events, etc. Barry Baker, an EEF board member, volunteered (well, more or less volunteered) to research pop-up canopies to make certain our money is well spent. The other expenditure will be $1000 to each of the school libraries for new books.
Some of us do not understand the extra work that each teacher must do in order to provide a quality education for their students. Marcie Kurka, a 3rd grade teacher at Pioneer, wrote a short paragraph on just one of the “normal” tasks that used to be easy, but is now much more complex.
“This year has brought many challenges to teachers, inside and outside of the classroom. One area that many teachers are struggling with currently, due to COVID-19 and our shift to virtual learning, is the overall planning of lessons. Previously I would fill out my lesson plan book, have a clear plan of what I planned to teach. Supplemental books would be stacked neatly next to my desk. Photo copies of bonus lessons or activities for my early finishers. Extra curriculum at reach “just in case.” But now, all must be replicated on the computer, which truly is impossible. Prior to COVID, teaching felt natural. My lessons would flow. I could read students’ faces during the lessons… I would know if they were grasping the concept being taught. Now, being virtual, many students don’t even turn their cameras on. I can’t “walk” around the room and offer support. The “extra” stack of supplementals that would normally be at my side to use at any moment, has now been replaced with hours of slide development which is supposed to equate to an engaging lesson. These slides, or PowerPoint presentations, now must connect ALL of the curriculum that was already memorized in my brain as a natural teacher: but instead because of having to convert everything to virtual learning platform, what would be breeze to prepare for, now takes hours upon hours, daily, to fine tune, update, modify, and then finally, present to my students. I could list 100 others things that is making this year difficult but this task, lesson planning: developing online, engaging lessons, is to me, the most difficult. “
The EEF continues to work on raising money for the 2021-2022 school year. We have voted not to have our fundraiser, Fall In Love with Escondido Schools, in February. We do not believe there will be enough vaccine out there that our guests will feel comfortable in a large group. However, we have high hopes for putting on our fashion show in May. Watch for information on that event!
The Escondido Education Foundation board thanks every one of you for the support you have shown the students in the Escondido Union School District. We hope that everyone has remained healthy throughout this trying time and that you will continue to support our efforts to provide students with the 21st century knowledge they will need to succeed!
Escondido Education Foundation