Language, Reading and Math Programs
The Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Project emphasizes a balanced instructional literacy approach to teaching that benifits students who demonstrate culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In addition, OLE is successfully used with students in general. The main goal is to assist teachers in developing teaching lessons that emphasize classroom environments that help produce conditions that result in optimal academic student behavior.The OLE Project consists of 2 focal components: The OLE Institutes where teachers are introduced to a balanced instructional literacy approach to teaching using theoretical based instructional strategies and follow up Site-Based Meetings. The purpose of the site meetings is to collaboratively interact with the teachers to assist them in applying the instructional strategies demonstrated in the OLE Institute. Currently, the OLE central office is housed at California State University Sacramento where consultants are available to school districts participating in the OLE Project. The California Department of Education had funded the OLE Project since 1988.
- Training a minimum of one day per month to assist Resource Teachers and Support Service Aides (SSA) to better serve migrant students and families and further develop leadership skills. These sessions are commonly referred to as MELA (Migrant Education Leadership Academy) meetings.
- Training to district staff in the use of data base technology to help improve the flow of information about the needs of migrant students and families and the assessment of programs to assist in continuous improvement. The general training was followed up with individual support at district sites.
- Training was provided throughout the region in the use of California Content Standards to assist teachers in planning instruction to insure students are getting the best education possible
- Training was provided to SSAs and Resource teachers in the use the Brigance Screen, which is used throughout the region to assess all pre-school children.
- One Friday evening monthly was devoted to training migrant teachers and assistants in reading, and general instructional strategies to assist their work in district and regional migrant programs.
- One Saturday monthly was devoted to training migrant staff in the use of LitART, a curriculum especially developed for use in supplementary programs.
- Project Write training was held in several locations throughout the region to assist teachers in better teaching writing skills. The three-part training was offered in various locations to allow participation by many more teachers. Classroom demonstrations and teacher coaching was provided to districts requesting the service. An in-depth study of Project Write’s effectiveness was conducted this summer with three schools participating in the study and three additional schools participating as control groups.
- District teacher coaches and mentors were provided advanced training to improve their ability to demonstrate to others how to teach research skills as an extension of the writing process.
- Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) training was held in cooperation with the Lamont School District during their Saturday Academy to train teachers in highly effective English Language Development strategies. Teachers left the training with effective unit plans designed to meet the needs of their English Language Learners.
- Region V sponsored a very special training event with a week-long series by world-renown instructional expert, Anita Archer. Each day of her series, Dr. Archer demonstrated in district classrooms, with district children, effective teaching techniques to maximize student learning.
- The Region co-sponsored a presentation by Sam Ortiz, an expert in English Language Development, to train regional educators in implementing effective instructional strategies for English learners.
- As part of the Family Project, the region conducted training to parents to assist other parents in their districts. Parents as First Teachers training assists parents to share information about improving family literacy.
- A Writing Camp was conducted with children in grades one through five in conjunction with the Family Project and Parents as First Teachers to improve the writing skills of those students in attendance.
- Regional staff participated in a number of conferences to improve their professional ability to bring innovative ideas to the region.
- Regional staff presented at various conferences to share knowledge gained in our work in the region that may be helpful to other programs throughout the nation.