Philanthropy Now podcast: Meeting the stressful demands of distance learning and exploring hybrid education models for fall 2020 in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties

In this episode, you will learn about the impact of COVID-19 on the economically, ethnically and geographically diverse school districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Director of Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning, Michelle Sioson Hyman, speaks with the county superintendents from these counties, Mary Ann Dewan and Nancy Magee, as well as the superintendent of Jefferson Elementary School District, Bernie Vidales. The conversation among these education leaders highlights the creativity inspired by teaching remotely, the challenges in distance learning and its impact on less affluent students, food insecurities of families relying on school meal services, plans for reopening schools in hybrid learning formats this autumn and more.

The SVCF Education Partnership is expanding the capacity of local school districts and the County Offices of Education to address immediate challenges and long-term recovery efforts related to COVID-19, including but not limited to:

  • Social and emotional health and wellness support for students, families and staff.
  • Distance learning, including IT infrastructure and equipment, technical assistance and training for teachers and staff, support for students with special needs and dual language learners.
  • Emergency child care centers, including additional staffing needs, program materials, health care and cleaning supplies.
  • Continued and/or expanded access to nutrition services.
  • Family engagement strategies.
  • Other extraordinary measures required to address the COVID-19 crisis and shelter-in-place orders.

In SVCF’s Philanthropy Now podcast series, we explore trends in the world of philanthropy, social impact initiatives in Silicon Valley and beyond, and we look at how SVCF promotes innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems.


Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent, Santa Clara County Office of Education,
Bernie Vidales, School District Superintendent, Jefferson Elementary School District,
Nancy Magee, County Superintendent, San Mateo County Office of Education,
and Michelle Sioson Hyman, Director, Center for Early Learning, Silicon Valley Community Foundation


What you will learn:

  • Challenges in local school districts and county offices of education in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • SVCF’s Education Partnership and its priorities and progress in serving students and teachers in the two local counties.
  • Education-related needs surpass distance learning tools; families require child care, support for food insecurities, dual language support, health care and more.
  • Potential hybrid models for in-classroom and remote learning in the coming autumn semester.
  • Concerns for social-emotional connections among students and classroom communities.

Resources from this episode:


Did you enjoy the SVCF Philanthropy Now podcast? Never miss an episode by subscribing in iTunes, Stitcher or RSS