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SAN JOSE, CA -- On February 2nd, the 2021 Santa Clara County State of Education address was presented to an online audience by Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools, and featured guest speakers and leaders from agencies and organizations throughout Santa Clara County, district superintendents, as well as performances by the Mountain View High School Madrigal Choir, directed by Jill Denny.
Master of Ceremonies, NBC Bay Area journalist and news reporter, Damian Trujillo, began the address stating that during the pandemic, even with the tremendous obstacles to learning, teachers relentlessly supported students. “As a parent, I was worried about the quality of education my children would get over this past year. As a parent today, I can only thank you for all that you have been able to accomplish outside of the classroom. As a professional, I am in awe of that accomplishment.”
The address reinforced the profound way that partnerships among Santa Clara County leaders and community organizations were facilitated to support and meet the needs of its students and families. The shift to distance learning was balanced with maintaining health and safety guidelines directed by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. This emphasis on partnership will impact the future trajectory of education for years to come.
Featuring guest speakers, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Nicole Taylor; President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Ahmad Thomas; Santa Clara County Board Supervisor, Cindy Chavez; and California State Senator, Dave Cortese, the address highlighted three important focus areas for the county.
Health and Wellness, emphasized partnerships with the county public health department to facilitate and monitor the health and safety of school staff, students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by Academics and Instruction, which provided an overview of the insights gained from the transition of in-person instruction to distance learning, the actionable response to attendance deficits and the digital divide, and new pathways created to engage students within a different and evolving learning environment. Rounding out the address, Essential Services, highlighted partnerships that expanded the reach of the SCCOE to help meet the basic needs of students, families and the community.
“Through all of the unfolding uncertainty of last year, the SCCOE, Santa Clara leaders, elected officials, school personnel and community partners responded quickly to help students, and we experienced the might of our collective strength when we joined efforts to support our families,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools.
Dr. Dewan emphasized how obstacles we face can be overcome through shared partnerships and advocacy. “It is the key to strengthening our education system. I am grateful to our staff and educators who do not shy away from their commitment and passionately advocate for their students’ well-being and lead with unwavering focus during challenging times.”
Ending on a high note, the Mountain View High School Madrigal Choir sang of seeing beyond the darker times of the past to view the future through the light of hope.
The event is archived and available to view on www.sccoe.org/SOE2021.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.