KIDS Corner

A Newsletter designed to support the KIDS pilot project

Quarter 4: June 2020

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Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay!

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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KIDS Future Deployment Milestones

As the KIDS project marches forward, the continuing expansion of the project will complete the PK-12 lens of Kern County by 2023.

Pilot 1: January 2019


Pilot 2: April 2020

The KIDS support team is excited to welcome Fruitvale School District & KCSOS Alternative Education as Pilot 2 partners, bringing the total number of pilot districts to 11.

Cohort 1: 2021
19 Districts scheduled for onboarding

Cohort 2: 2022

Remaining 18 Districts scheduled for onboarding

Cohort 3: 2023

Institutions of Higher Education and Charter Schools scheduled for onboarding

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District Partner Highlights

Many thanks to our partner districts as they share insights from lessons learned, as well as how this partnership provides the capability to enrich the many district efforts and initiatives already underway.

We look forward to connecting with each of our partners in the future, as we share our best practices and “Bright Spots” on this journey together.

“One Town, One School, One Community”

Recently, KCSOS Management Analysts, Chip Wilson and Michael Hernandez, sat down with Hiedi Witcher, Assistant Superintendent/Principal with the Buttonwillow Union School District to discuss the district's unique application of the KIDS platform.

Buttonwillow Union School District serves approximately 400 students and has an unduplicated rate of about 95 percent. “In a smaller district, you have a lot of moving parts, with fewer people to do the work, so a tool like KIDS makes meaningful data instantly accessible”, said Mrs. Witcher. She further explained there have been many other benefits in utilizing the various dashboard reports and data visualizations from within the KIDS platform which has benefited Buttonwillow’s system for continuous improvement. Mrs. Witcher stated, “KIDS has become more helpful over our existing student information system. We can readily generate a variety of dashboards and other graphics which are simple to understand and very meaningful to different groups of stakeholders.”

Teachers and the school board are two specific groups the Buttonwillow leadership team has shared this information with thus far. “The visualizations can be quickly generated within KIDS which enables us to show year over year trends in areas of interest such as behavior, attendance, and test scores, including both state and local results.”

Buttonwillow is taking full advantage of the capacity of KIDS to allow for immediate and comprehensive analysis of local data, such as CAASPP Interim Assessment Blocks (IAB). Instead of traditional benchmarks, Buttonwillow has shifted to utilizing the Smarter Balanced IABs to assess smaller bundles of content in a way consistent with what students see for state testing. The IABs provide teachers and other stakeholder groups the ability to check where students are currently performing, and to utilize those results in determining next steps for instruction and intervention. The KIDS platform can upload data files for all students- allowing teachers and other stakeholders to immediately see which students are excelling, which students need additional support, and in which areas. On the KIDS platform, IAB results are displayed graphically in an easy to understand customizable format so teachers and school staff can respond to individual students, as well as, groups of students’ needs, rather than struggling to grade and organize the critical information themselves over many hours and days. Additionally, Heidi stated they are preparing for next steps. She is going to have all curriculum based measures (CBM) data uploaded into KIDS to further bolster the district's ability to meet the needs of their student. Heidi went on to state, “When you add local assessments into the KIDS platform, the capacity of the platform really starts to come to life. Users and stakeholders are empowered to provide better teaching and learning. This is exactly what is happening in Buttonwillow!”


KIDS platform: A tool for COVID 19 response

School Meal Finder

In response to the shelter at home prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, KCSOS leveraged a School Meal Finder ( tool built by Hoonuit. The tool is a collection of locations, along with other pertinent information, providing prepared meals for school aged children under the age of 18 throughout Kern County. It can be accessed via any web browser on a personal computer or mobile device and includes a map of locations. At any given time, there are over 200 locations listed and to date- it has help provide over 3 million meals to students, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Multiple Student Homes

In the initial stages of school closures in response to the COVID pandemic , we realized up to 76,000 socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED) students in Kern County had limited or no access to home internet. This connectivity gap made it very difficult for these students to complete distance learning, even if we could provide students with a device like a chrome book.

Mobile hotspots were purchased and ready to be deployed by KCSOS and several districts to student homes to address this issue, however, these hotspots were in limited supply.

Another method of distribution of internet access to a larger number of students and families used by several districts and KCSOS, was to equip buses with the mobile hotspots.

It was necessary to determine how and where to deploy these hotspot equipped buses, maximizing the opportunity to serve the largest number of students in need.

Accessing Kern KIDS data allowed the team to quickly report on homes and addresses with high student counts, regardless of the school district each student attended. Data from the KIDS platform was used to determine the areas with high SED density- where buses could be deployed, as well as households with high SED student counts, where hotspots could be distributed. This data was crucial in maximizing the limited resources available during the initial stages of the pandemic. Using the KIDS data in this way provided an opportunity to respond effectively to meet a crucial instructional need and deploy resources quickly and efficiently.

Distance Learning Support

As schools were moving quickly to support students and families with distance learning opportunities, The KCSOS Instructional Services team worked diligently to create learning opportunities for students through building course content for teachers.

As a county, we chose to create and distribute course curriculum within Canvas, a course management system that supports online learning and teaching. As content was created, it became clear there was a need to import school data into Canvas quickly and efficiently in order to maximize access to teachers, students and families.

For the districts currently participating the KIDS pilot project and choosing to use the Canvas platform, the required data was imported into Canvas within one day.

For districts not currently participating in the KIDS pilot project, simplified templates were created to facilitate the data loading process. This process would take anywhere from 3-7 days, depending on how many revisions were needed from the district.

The primary difference in implementation times between pilot and non-pilot districts

was due to KIDS pilot district partners having the necessary data in the KIDS data warehouse that could be accessed quickly and efficiently. Having that data already accessible allowed for quick turnaround time, with district partners only needing to validate the correct loading of content.

This unanticipated event provided an opportunity for the KIDS team to support partner districts using tools already in place.


Current KIDS Staffing & Support

KIDS Support Team is Growing!

KCSOS is excited to share the KIDS Support Team is expanding! As we have launched Pilot #2 with Fruitvale School District and KCSOS Alternative Education in April, and look forward to launching Cohort #1 (19 districts, in January 2021) we are building a dedicated KIDS Support Team that can successfully achieve the countywide implementation by 2023.

The KIDS Support Team will be expanding to include 9 dedicated positions solely focused on the work of on-boarding and professional learning support. This added layer of support will provide training and implementation for District Administrators, Principals, Teachers, and Counselors.

-Introducing New KIDS staff-

Greg West

KIDS Director II

Greg West is joining the KIDS team as KIDS Director II, with extensive leadership experience from around Kern County. His most recent position has been as the Director of School Services for Grimmway Schools. Greg has also served as a Principal and Vice Principal for Grimmway schools and in a variety of leadership, support and instructional roles throughout Kern County. Greg earned his B.A in Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield, M.S. in School Counseling from the University of LaVerne and an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership Emphasis, from Fresno Pacific University.

Jennifer Anzalone

KIDS Coordinator III, Professional Learning & Support

Jennifer Anzalone is joining the KCSOS KIDS team as the KIDS Coordinator III, Professional Learning & Support after having served as Vice Principal in the Bakersfield City School District. throughout her career, Jennifer has also served as an Academic Coach, History Teacher, Summer School Principal and Substitute Teacher. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts- History, and teaching credential from California State University, Bakersfield, and her Master of Arts, Educational Leadership ans Administrative Services credential from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Heather Richter

Administrator of Continuous Improvement Support

Heather Richter is the Administrator of Continuous Improvement Support.

Heather will be supporting the professional learning for districts as they onboard.

Dr. Cameron Guinn

Administrator of Support Services

Dr. Cameron Guinn will move from his role as a KCSOS Management Analyst to serve as the Administrator of Support Services. Cameron will be supporting districts through the onboarding process

Looking to Add to Our KIDS Team This Summer!

We are continuing to add to our amazing team this summer. If you, or anyone you know, would be a great fit for this exciting work, please look for these positions to post, and apply at

The following positions will be available:

  • Program Specialist-KIDS Coach
  • Program Specialist-Data Analyst
  • Application Integration Solutions Specialist

Should you have any questions, please reach out to Heather Richter at (661) 636-4546.

KernKIDS Website

Remember to check out the KernKIDS website for information and resources to share with your team! Click on the button for a shortcut.