Dr. Ed Manansala has been the County Superintendent of Schools for El Dorado County for nearly five years.  He related to us an overview of EDC schools and about how the Covid-19 virus is impacting our local schools and what is being done to ensure a safe learning environment.  Dr. Manansala’s tenure as the County Superintendent has been marked by strong collaboration with education and community leaders to increase achievement, equity, and successfully implement the California Statewide System of Support.  He is responsible for leading 31,126 students, 69 schools and 5,445 education staff in El Dorado County.  

The County still wants to stay with the hybrid model for education, even with the recent increase to the Purple Tier indicating Widespread risk of COVID-19 transmission.  Schools are one of the safest environments in the county.  Only 6 cases of transmission in schools have occurred this academic year while 6 districts are using hybrid model.
 
Members had questions about the equity challenges involved in distance learning.  Dr. Manansala said that there were those challenges, but they have largely been met.  All students either had or have been provided with devices to access the internet, and for those that needed it, internet access has been provided by county libraries and community colleges. As far as basic needs, Dina Gentry, Communication Director with EDCOE, told us that many students are lacking a warm winter coat.  An Annual Coat Drive is underway in which the goal is to be able to gather donations of $10,000 to be able to buy and distribute 400 coats.  See the Happy Bucks section below for how the club has reacted to this basic need.
 
Dr. Manansala told us that another way that we can help is just to offer our words of encouragement and praise to the hard-working teachers and staff in our County.  Since educators are teaching online and in-person, they are putting in many more hours of work than is typical.  This could be in the form of a formal acknowledgement or by inviting teachers to our meetings to acknowledge them.  The attendees enthusiastically thanked Dr. Manansala and Ms. Gentry for their educational and moving presentation!
 
For those who missed the meeting, the introduction and Dr. Manansala's presentation start at the 5:04 point at this FaceBook link. - drag the progress marker dot to that time.