In this episode, Val Verde Unified School District Superintendent Mike McCormick talks with students from the UC Riverside School of Public Policy about the challenges school districts face as the academic school year begins and distanced learning continues. About Mike McCormick: Superintendent McCormick carries over 20 years of experience in the field of education. Beginning as a teacher at Home Gardens Elementary School, he became an Assistant Principal and Principal at both Vista Verde Middle School and Rancho Verde High School. Since 2015, he has served as Superintendent of Val Verde Unified School District. Learn more about Mike McCormick and Val Verde Unified School District here. Podcast Highlights: “I see on our State Superintendent Advisory Council with Tony Thurmond, and was able to be one of the first school districts in the state to apply to receive hot spots from Google and T-Mobile." - Mike McCormick on the topic of preparing to meet this moment, when students are dependent on technology, for nearly ten years. “At the highest policy level, I was asked by our State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to be on his Schools Reopening Advisory Task Force... I was fortunate to have conversations as a result of that task force with the Governor's office, legislators, and so kind of the policy discussion at that level was how do we have some practices and procedures in place that are going to hold districts harmless, hold students harmless..." - Mike McCormick on the topic of the statewide discussion on how to move forward with the school year, while keeping children and employees healthy and safe. "The research is telling us that three to four times is the rate that our Latinx and Black community members, students, and families are likely to contract COVID-19. And that was one of the guiding documents that helped really shine the light for us, and our Board ultimately made the decision that we're going to continue in full distanced learning...” - Mike McCormick on the topic of how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected minority communities in the United States, including his own district. Guest: Mike McCormick (Superintendent of Val Verde Unified School District) Interviewer: Maddie Bunting (UCR Public Policy Major, Dean’s Chief Ambassador) Music by: Samuel Roberts (UCR Public Policy ‘20) https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Xylo-Ziko/Minimal_1625 This is a production of the UCR School of Public Policy: https://spp.ucr.edu/ Subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Learn more about the series and other episodes via https://spp.ucr.edu/podcast.