PALMDALE — The Antelope Valley School Boards Association’s 10th annual Education Summit had a different look this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The AVSBA conducted the summit via a Zoom meeting Tuesday evening hosted by socially distanced Palmdale School District trustees and administrators in their boardroom.
The summit included guest speakers from the California School Boards Association, including CEO and Executive Director Vernon Billy, pro and con sides of Proposition 15, and candidates for local, state, and federal offices.
“The work that you’re doing is difficult work and at CSBA we’ve tried to really cut through the noise … We’ve tried to provide you with the support and information that will hopefully help guide you in your discussions and your thinking about how you respond at he local level,” Billy said.
Dennis Meyers, CSBA’s assistant executive director, Government Relations, discussed the state budget, pending bills on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, and those he recently signed that affect education.
“We really started lobbying COVID-19 related issues mid-March,” Meyers said, adding they are still working on it now.
Meyers also discussed lack of broadband access.
“If there’s one thing that this COVID-19 exposed, is in the greatest technology economy in the world, 30% or something of our families don’t have Internet access,” Meyers said. “You’re experiencing that difficulty now. So we’re working real hard to continue making sure that that is the top issue and it doesn’t drop off.”
Antelope Valley Union High School District Superintendent David Vierra did the welcome address.
‘“I’m sure I speak for many of you in wishing we were convening at Lancaster High School enjoying the entertainment of our talented students,” Vierra said. “Nevertheless, I’m thankful that technology allows us to gather tonight.”
Vierra added the local districts worked collaboratively from the onset of the global health crisis in the best interests of students.
“While there’s so many unsung heroes these past seven months I’d be remiss not to take a moment to recognize the food service teams across our districts, who work tirelessly each day to ensure our students and their families have access to a stable food source,” Vierra said.
AV Union High School District student trustee Eli Johnson also addressed educators.
Johnson, a junior at Knight High School, is in his second year as student trustee.
“We have a responsibility in our role to be a leader and to represent our community,” Johnson said. “I believe that an important part of leadership is the way in which you go about it. I have learned that through my superintendent, Dr. Vierra, that a patient adaptive tone is the greatest way to accomplish good in your surroundings and to lead your community.”