Stories » LACOE Board President Visits EMCSD

LACOE Board President Visits EMCSD

November 6, 2023

El Monte, CA – Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Board President Dr. Yvonne Chan and LACOE Chief Academic Officer Mr. Ruben Valles recently visited El Monte City School District (EMCSD) schools to observe their academic programs and extracurricular activities.
EMCSD invited the LACOE Board of Education to allow them to see their interactive, student-centered, data-based educational programming. Dr. Chan shared that this is the first time LACOE’s Board of Education has been personally invited to tour school campuses. EMCSD serves a diverse student population and prides itself on meeting students where they are academically, emotionally, and socially to provide the instruction and support needed to succeed.

Dr. Chan and Mr. Valles toured New Lexington’s Mandarin and Durfee’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs. These programs promote bilingualism and biliteracy by instructing students in English and their target language. This approach enhances cognitive abilities and global readiness. The program integrates students into the culture to develop an appreciation for the communities that speak the languages of study. “Learning the language is only one aspect. It’s about the history, the culture, and the food,” explained Dr. Chan. “I love the food [part],” she laughed, “but it is about the history and everything else to make us a better person.”

The tour stopped by LeGore to view EMCSD’s 3rd-grade Math Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) program. CGI focuses on understanding students' cognitive processes when solving math problems, ensuring a robust understanding of mathematical concepts. Other highlights included Rio Hondo’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, where students practice Philosophical Chairs, developing inquiry, oral language, and argumentation skills through informed debates. The visit concluded with a tasting of Arroz con Leche from Durfee’s culinary program.

"The LA County Board of Education plays a pivotal role in school districts across the county by identifying and championing the wealth of high-quality programs in public education. It was an absolute pleasure to host LACOE and highlight our dedicated team of educators who strive to provide our students with the best learning experience every day," shared Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia. "The LACOE governance team has the ability to ensure that our students and families have access to essential and extracurricular programming, which collectively contribute to the holistic education of our students through equity-based policies and decisions. As we continually enhance our districtwide practices, we welcome the LACOE Board's partnership to see firsthand the profound impact they and their decisions have on our day-to-day operations."

“It was great to come to the El Monte City School District because you don’t get to see the great things happening in a district until you actually visit it with respect to the operation, facilities, schools, the effectiveness of [their] bond use, and the collaboration of teachers in the classroom,” explained Mr. Valles. “In the 3rd grade, we saw CGI in every classroom. That shows teacher collaboration [which means] students engage in the academic language. Overall, I was really impressed with the visit.”

When asked about her visit to EMCSD schools, Dr. Chan had a powerful assessment. “The El Monte City School team can see the invisible, and so they can do the impossible.”