MCOE Education Spotlight: Giving thanks amid a school year like no other

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In ABC30's segment, Action News Anchor Landon Burke will talk with the MCOE Superintendent about giving thanks amid a school year like no other.

Landon: Thanksgiving is often a time of reflection. What are you guys reflecting on right now at MCOE?

Steve: I'm grateful for a lot of things this time of year. This is the time of year to reflect on all the things that we have to be thankful for. I'm thankful for the tremendous support parents have given their kids this past year, not only on a daily basis, but by participating in the parent institute that we do every year, and really learning how the system works. I'm grateful particularly for the foster youth, folks that support kids every day, both our staff and the CASA volunteers that are advocates for kids in the court system. I'm grateful for the work that we do across multiple agencies to support people going back to work. We have a strong partnership with the probation department. And we support people that had been, as we say, touched by the legal system, have been incarcerated, but now they're fully trained, they're able to provide for their families. They're able to pay their child support. They're able to put a roof over their heads, and they're a participating member of society. Really, these are all the kinds of things that I'm grateful for as we think about what our agency, as a county office of education, does. In pulling the community together. We have to always look for that common ground, where in America while we have different political differences, particularly over the last couple of years, we have to find a way to work together when we come into the public square. That's what being an American means. So thank you, Landon, for your time you've spent with us this year. We look forward to spending more time in the future. And I am thankful for ABC 30 is able to get our message out. Thanks so much.

Landon: And I mean, what a year it's been. If you could go back and talk to yourself in July, what would you say?

Steve: I would say hang in there, it will get better. There are a lot of good people that are all rooting for us and for the children in our county. I think that kind of a pep talk is important these days, and we need to give it to each other as well as to have the 'self talk' in our head.

Landon: So speaking of pep talks, Dr. Tietjen, what kind of conversations are you guys having about next semester and then the next term of the school year?

Steve: Well, of course there's a lot of worry about when the government mandates going to happen, but that's not going to happen this year. It's going to happen later and so we're really concerned about students staying safe over the break. We have a big shipment and tests coming, so if parents want to have a COVID test, they can pick one up for free at the United Way and most school districts will have them in their offices. Parents can just pick them up, take them home and use them before they travel on their trips this winter break. We want kids to come back again in January ready to learn. Knowing that we've got a second semester ahead of us. It's going to be successful. I want people to know that we're, I think, through the worst of this. We have to be careful, but we have to keep focusing on the future. We all have a future let's get there together.
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