Nearly 2 million students and 80 school districts make up the Los Angeles County education system – as you can imagine, the experiences, the success and the challenges vary from district to district as it does student to student. The Let Me Add to That Podcast, presented by the Los Angeles Office of Education will feature education experts including superintendents, administrators, teachers and students themselves who will highlight various hot topics that the county faces on a day-to-day basis. Let Me Add to That is titled and modeled after the inclusion of different perspectives, experiences and challenges, and new episodes will be released on the first Wednesday of every month.
Episode 12: How to Start Your Own Podcast 101
December 6, 2023
Join us in this insightful episode as we sit down with Tiffany "T" Cruz, the Postproduction Lead of Podcast Business at Spotify. T shares her wealth of knowledge on how to kickstart your own podcast right within your school and district. Whether you're a teacher looking to integrate podcasting into the classroom or a student wanting to amplify your school's voice, this episode is your go-to guide for navigating the exciting world of podcast creation.
What you will learn:
- Getting Started: T breaks down the initial steps to dive into podcasting, from conceptualizing ideas to the practicalities of setting up your recording space.
- Essential Equipment: Wondering about the must-have gear? T guides you through the essential equipment needed to produce high-quality podcasts without breaking the bank.
- Marketing Strategies:T shares effective marketing and promotion strategies, ensuring your podcast gets the attention it deserves within the school community and beyond.
- Audience Growth and Engagement: Learn from T's experience as she discusses various ways to not only grow your podcast audience but also keep them engaged and eager for more.
The views expressed in the podcast are those of the presenters and may not be endorsed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education or the respective organizations of the guests.
Episode 11: The Ultimate Guide to Boost Attendance at Your School
November 1, 2023
In this episode, we sit down with two LACOE employees who are the driving forces behind the creation of our Attendance Playbook – the ultimate guide to boost attendance at your schools: Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services, Alicia Garoupa and Senior Program Specialist in Child Welfare and Attendance, Toni Banuelos. The LACOE Attendance Playbook serves as the ultimate guide for school districts looking to enhance attendance rates. We explore how teachers, parents and students can all play pivotal roles in the mission to combat absenteeism, ensuring every child has the opportunity to succeed. Alicia and Toni cover a range of essential topics, including the importance of data tracking to identify attendance patterns, crafting effective action plans and implementing strategies for both prevention and promotion. You can download a copy of the playbook here.
Episode 10: Understanding Food and Nutrition in LA County Schools
October 4, 2023
In this episode, we dive into the world of food allergies, school nutrition and the significance of Zacky's Bill. Join student Samuel Sherwood from Glendale Unified School District and Maryam Shayegh, LACOE's Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, as they discuss these important topics.
Samuel shares his personal experiences with food allergies, shedding light on the challenges many students face. Maryam provides valuable insights into best practices for schools when it comes to food options and nutrition. Discover actionable steps districts can take to help create a healthier and more inclusive school environment.
Episode 9: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
September 6, 2023
On this month’s episode we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with two of our very own remarkable Latina leaders, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Debra Duardo and LACOE’s General Counsel Vibiana Andrade.
From discussing the intricacies of terminology like "Hispanic" and "Latino," to sharing their unique perspectives on cultural identity shaped by their experiences growing up as Chicanas in Los Angeles, they discuss what celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month really means. Vibiana also shares what it was like to fight against Prop 187 years ago which aimed to deny public services such as education and healthcare to undocumented immigrants and their children.
They also highlight the positive changes in cultural representation, inclusive curriculum and how LACOE’s Immigrant Relations unit helps families across Los Angeles County.
Episode 8: What do our students REALLY want from schools?
August 2, 2023
Happy August! School is back this month, so we called two of LA County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo’s Student Advisory Board members to join us and talk about what they really need from schools, educators and administrators. The two students, Jada Yang from La Cañada Unified and Adhirat Ajani from LAUSD compared experiences, resources and offered ideas to better schools for students across LA County. The two also discussed ways teachers have directly impacted their lives and how extracurriculars have significantly contributed to their successes.
Episode 7: Then and Now: Things We Wish We Had
July 5, 2023
Then versus NOW -- let’s get nostalgic! On this episode we have special guests from San Gabriel High School: Principal Debbie Stone and Math teacher Amanda Blackwood. The two educators join us to discuss the significant physical and social changes in education over the years. We talk about the evolution of classrooms from chalkboards to digital screens and celebrate the impact of technology advancements and access to mental health resources today’s students have. Debbie and Amanda also explore the double-edged sword of social media and how it influences today's students and schools. Enjoy this discussion on the evolution of education and think about it – what is something today’s students have that you wish you did and what aspects from the past would you bring back given the chance?!
Episode 6: Authentic Allyship During Pride Month and Beyond
June 7, 2023
Authenticity. Allyship. Pride.
What does it all mean and how can we really support our LGBTQ+ community in our schools and at our districts? In celebration of June being Pride Month, we dive into the complex yet simple conversation with Tonya Moore, LACOE’s Coordinator III of Physical Education and Comprehensive Health and leader of PRISM (Providing Relevant, Inclusive Support that Matters) and Alex Morse, Planned Parenthood’s Community Health Educator in Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.
Tonya and Alex explain the difference between visibility and AUTHENTIC visibility and how allies sometimes try to support LGBTQ+ equality but end up being more harmful than helpful. Tonya breaks down the importance of having supportive adults on campus while Alex discusses representation, inclusivity and why pronouns are important. Tonya also shares what the latest partnership between LACOE and the California Department of Education to make schools safer and more supportive for LGBTQ+ youth is all about.
Episode 5: Mental Health is Wealth!
May 3, 2023
In recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we invited our Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo and Director of Employee Assistance Service for Education (EASE), Dr. Emily Hernandez to discuss the various ways organizations can better support wellbeing among our education staff. Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Duardo talked about stress and depression in the workplace, the misconceptions and dimensions of mental wellbeing, and offered ideas leaders can consider having for a healthier work environment for themselves AND their teams. They also discuss EASE -- Did you know ANYONE employed by one of our 80 LA County school districts (teachers, aids, bus drivers etc.) has access to EASE? Dr. Hernandez explains it in this very special and important episode.
Episode 4: What Does "Going Green" Even Mean?!
April 5, 2023
April is Earth Month, a time to reflect on environmental awareness and GO GREEN! But what does “going green” even mean? On this episode, we are joined by Jema Estrella and Laura Verbryck who lead our green schools initiative at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. You will learn all about sustainability in the education sector and how schools in LA County are supporting green initiatives, such as LAUSD’s efforts to establishing a minimum of 30% of green spaces for all campuses, or Long Beach Unified’s efforts to transition away from using fossil fuels and only use only clean energy within their district. You will also pick up tips on how you as a student, educator or LA County resident can move towards a more sustainable future.
Episode 3: Women's HERstory Month
March 1, 2023
March is Women's History Month so naturally, we invited two of our most outstanding female leaders in the Los Angeles County Education system: Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian, and L.A. County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Debra Duardo. Both leaders have significantly impacted our students, schools and districts and they joined forces to discuss some of the best advice they have ever gotten, who inspires them and how they stay motivated in their positions!
Episode 2: New Graduation Requirement: Ethnic Studies
February 1, 2023
Although Ethnic Studies is not new, it just recently became a graduation requirement in California. Coordinator III of History-Social Science and ethnic studies expert, Dr. Michelle Herczog shares what both students and districts can expect with the curriculum. She also discusses examples of how ethnic studies can be taught and implemented as well as what the Los Angeles County Office of Education is doing to support the requirement.
Episode 1: What is really going on with chronic absenteeism and dropout rates?
January 4, 2023
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo and Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services Alicia Garoupa discuss the rising issues behind chronic absenteeism and how it relates to dropout rates. They talk about the real-life challenges these students face, and consider the different ways we can resolve this problem.