Nearly 2 million students and 80 school districts make up the Los Angeles County education system – as you can imagine, the experiences, the success and the challenges vary from district to district as it does student to student. The Let Me Add to That Podcast, presented by the Los Angeles Office of Education will feature education experts including superintendents, administrators, teachers and students themselves who will highlight various hot topics that the county faces on a day-to-day basis. Let Me Add to That is titled and modeled after the inclusion of different perspectives, experiences and challenges, and new episodes will be released on the first Wednesday of every month.



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Season 2 | Episode 5

Navigating the Asian American Identity

May 01, 2024

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! To celebrate, we sat down with three remarkable Asian American guests, including LACOE Board President, Dr. Yvonne Chan and twin brothers, Kenneth and Kevin San from Alhambra Unified School District, who recently arrived in the United States from Burma. Join us as they share their experiences navigating high school life while balancing their Asian and American identities. They discuss the significance of Asian American Heritage Month, address stereotypes, and reflect on the challenges and joys of maintaining and adapting cultural traditions. From the pressures of living up to expectations to offering advice for fellow Asian Americans, this conversation is insightful, heartfelt and empowering. Tune in to hear their stories and perspectives on embracing and celebrating their heritage in a multicultural society.

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Season 2 | Episode 4

The Teacher Journey: From Credentials to Compensation

Apr 03, 2024

Join Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr. Kanika White and Director I of Beginning Teacher Programs, Rami Christophi as they dive into the intricate process of becoming a credentialed educator and the compensation structures within the profession. They explore the current landscape of teacher recruitment, and how current events impact the interest of becoming a teacher. The discussion extends to the challenges of the teacher shortage and strategies to retain current educators. Finally, they provide information about the upcoming hybrid job fair across Los Angeles County, offering valuable opportunities for aspiring and experienced teachers alike.

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Season 2 | Episode 3

Tech Trends in Education: Tech and Cyber Strategies for Your School District

March 06, 2024

In this episode, discover how LACOE’s Technology Services team is revolutionizing education! Join Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo and LACOE’s Chief Technology Officer Jose Gonzalez as they delve into the team's vital role in supporting our 80 school districts. From ensuring fair technology access for our students to providing top-notch cybersecurity at our schools, learn how we take lead in providing tech tips and assistance. You will also learn about the "Delete the Divide" program, designed to bridge the digital gap in Los Angeles County, and gain valuable insights into AI's impact on education. Plus, discover how philanthropy and tech companies can join forces to further LACOE's vision for the growth and continued support of technology in education.The views expressed in the podcast are those of the presenters and may not be endorsed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education or the respective organizations of the guests.

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Season 2 | Episode 2

Celebrating Black History Month at Your School

February 07, 2024

In this month’s episode, we celebrate Black History Month by diving into the importance of honoring Black history, leadership, activism and impact in schools and public education. LACOE’s equity, diversity and inclusion leaders Dr. Jamaal Williams and Dr. Tyisha Noise share insights on how schools and districts can properly recognize and celebrate Black history, not just during February but throughout the year. Discover why it's essential to view Black history as integral to American history and learn how all individuals can actively support the Black community. This episode isn’t just a conversation; it’s a call to action for educators, students, and advocates to join us in ensuring that Black history isn’t just acknowledged but woven into the very fabric of our educational systems.

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Season 2 | Episode 1

Demystifying AI in Edu and Beyond

January 3, 2023

In this episode, we delve into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for education. Many educators and leaders in the education sector view AI with apprehension, but the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is on a mission to demystify AI and showcase its potential to positively impact education. Our guests, Dr. Chris Hoang, LACOE's Assistant Director of Technology Innovation and Outreach, and Creighton Taylor, CEO of Guided Compass, bring their expertise from working with schools and districts to shed light on AI's role in the classroom. Join us as we explore how AI can be harnessed to enhance the learning experience for students and empower educators and leaders with the knowledge they need to embrace this technology.

The views expressed in the podcast are those of the presenters and may not be endorsed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education or the respective organizations of the guests.

Season 1 | Episode 12

How to Start Your Own Podcast 101

December 6, 2023

Join us in this insightful episode as we sit down with Tiffany "T" Cruz, the Postproduction Lead of Podcast Business at Spotify. T shares her wealth of knowledge on how to kickstart your own podcast right within your school and district. Whether you're a teacher looking to integrate podcasting into the classroom or a student wanting to amplify your school's voice, this episode is your go-to guide for navigating the exciting world of podcast creation.

What you will learn:

  • Getting Started: T breaks down the initial steps to dive into podcasting, from conceptualizing ideas to the practicalities of setting up your recording space.
  • Essential Equipment: Wondering about the must-have gear? T guides you through the essential equipment needed to produce high-quality podcasts without breaking the bank.
  • Marketing Strategies:T shares effective marketing and promotion strategies, ensuring your podcast gets the attention it deserves within the school community and beyond.
  • Audience Growth and Engagement: Learn from T's experience as she discusses various ways to not only grow your podcast audience but also keep them engaged and eager for more.

The views expressed in the podcast are those of the presenters and may not be endorsed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education or the respective organizations of the guests.

Season 1 | Episode 11

The Ultimate Guide to Boost Attendance at Your School

November 1, 2023

In this episode, we sit down with two LACOE employees who are the driving forces behind the creation of our Attendance Playbook – the ultimate guide to boost attendance at your schools: Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services, Alicia Garoupa and Senior Program Specialist in Child Welfare and Attendance, Toni Banuelos. The LACOE Attendance Playbook serves as the ultimate guide for school districts looking to enhance attendance rates. We explore how teachers, parents and students can all play pivotal roles in the mission to combat absenteeism, ensuring every child has the opportunity to succeed. Alicia and Toni cover a range of essential topics, including the importance of data tracking to identify attendance patterns, crafting effective action plans and implementing strategies for both prevention and promotion. You can download a copy of the playbook here.

Season 1 | Episode 10

Understanding Food and Nutrition in LA County Schools

October 4, 2023

In this episode, we dive into the world of food allergies, school nutrition and the significance of Zacky's Bill. Join student Samuel Sherwood from Glendale Unified School District and Maryam Shayegh, LACOE's Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, as they discuss these important topics.

Samuel shares his personal experiences with food allergies, shedding light on the challenges many students face. Maryam provides valuable insights into best practices for schools when it comes to food options and nutrition. Discover actionable steps districts can take to help create a healthier and more inclusive school environment.

Season 1 | Episode 9

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

September 6, 2023

On this month’s episode we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with two of our very own remarkable Latina leaders, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Debra Duardo and LACOE’s General Counsel Vibiana Andrade.

From discussing the intricacies of terminology like "Hispanic" and "Latino," to sharing their unique perspectives on cultural identity shaped by their experiences growing up as Chicanas in Los Angeles, they discuss what celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month really means. Vibiana also shares what it was like to fight against Prop 187 years ago which aimed to deny public services such as education and healthcare to undocumented immigrants and their children.

They also highlight the positive changes in cultural representation, inclusive curriculum and how LACOE’s Immigrant Relations unit helps families across Los Angeles County.

Season 1 | Episode 8

What do our students REALLY want from schools?

August 2, 2023

Happy August! School is back this month, so we called two of LA County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo’s Student Advisory Board members to join us and talk about what they really need from schools, educators and administrators. The two students, Jada Yang from La Cañada Unified and Adhirat Ajani from LAUSD compared experiences, resources and offered ideas to better schools for students across LA County. The two also discussed ways teachers have directly impacted their lives and how extracurriculars have significantly contributed to their successes. 

Season 1 | Episode 7

Then and Now: Things We Wish We Had

July 5, 2023

Then versus NOW -- let’s get nostalgic! On this episode we have special guests from San Gabriel High School: Principal Debbie Stone and Math teacher Amanda Blackwood. The two educators join us to discuss the significant physical and social changes in education over the years. We talk about the evolution of classrooms from chalkboards to digital screens and celebrate the impact of technology advancements and access to mental health resources today’s students have. Debbie and Amanda also explore the double-edged sword of social media and how it influences today's students and schools. Enjoy this discussion on the evolution of education and think about it – what is something today’s students have that you wish you did and what aspects from the past would you bring back given the chance?!

Season 1 | Episode 6

Authentic Allyship During Pride Month and Beyond

June 7, 2023

Authenticity. Allyship. Pride.  

What does it all mean and how can we really support our LGBTQ+ community in our schools and at our districts? In celebration of June being Pride Month, we dive into the complex yet simple conversation with Tonya Moore, LACOE’s Coordinator III of Physical Education and Comprehensive Health and leader of PRISM (Providing Relevant, Inclusive Support that Matters) and Alex Morse, Planned Parenthood’s Community Health Educator in Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.

Tonya and Alex explain the difference between visibility and AUTHENTIC visibility and how allies sometimes try to support LGBTQ+ equality but end up being more harmful than helpful. Tonya breaks down the importance of having supportive adults on campus while Alex discusses representation, inclusivity and why pronouns are important. Tonya also shares what the latest partnership between LACOE and the California Department of Education to make schools safer and more supportive for LGBTQ+ youth is all about.

Season 1 | Episode 5

Mental Health is Wealth!

May 3, 2023

In recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we invited our Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo and Director of Employee Assistance Service for Education (EASE), Dr. Emily Hernandez to discuss the various ways organizations can better support wellbeing among our education staff. Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Duardo talked about stress and depression in the workplace, the misconceptions and dimensions of mental wellbeing, and offered ideas leaders can consider having for a healthier work environment for themselves AND their teams. They also discuss EASE -- Did you know ANYONE employed by one of our 80 LA County school districts (teachers, aids, bus drivers etc.) has access to EASE? Dr. Hernandez explains it in this very special and important episode.

Season 1 | Episode 4

What Does "Going Green" Even Mean?!

April 5, 2023

April is Earth Month, a time to reflect on environmental awareness and GO GREEN! But what does “going green” even mean? On this episode, we are joined by Jema Estrella and Laura Verbryck who lead our green schools initiative at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. You will learn all about sustainability in the education sector and how schools in LA County are supporting green initiatives, such as LAUSD’s efforts to establishing a minimum of 30% of green spaces for all campuses, or Long Beach Unified’s efforts to transition away from using fossil fuels and only use only clean energy within their district. You will also pick up tips on how you as a student, educator or LA County resident can move towards a more sustainable future.

Season 1 | Episode 3

Women's HERstory Month

March 1, 2023

March is Women's History Month so naturally, we invited two of our most outstanding female leaders in the Los Angeles County Education system: Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian, and L.A. County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Debra Duardo. Both leaders have significantly impacted our students, schools and districts and they joined forces to discuss some of the best advice they have ever gotten, who inspires them and how they stay motivated in their positions!

Season 1 | Episode 2

New Graduation Requirement: Ethnic Studies

February 1, 2023

Although Ethnic Studies is not new, it just recently became a graduation requirement in California. Coordinator III of History-Social Science and ethnic studies expert, Dr. Michelle Herczog shares what both students and districts can expect with the curriculum. She also discusses examples of how ethnic studies can be taught and implemented as well as what the Los Angeles County Office of Education is doing to support the requirement.

Season 1 | Episode 1

What is really going on with chronic absenteeism and dropout rates?

January 4, 2023

Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo and Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services Alicia Garoupa discuss the rising  issues behind chronic absenteeism and how it relates to dropout rates. They talk about the real-life challenges these students face, and consider the different ways we can resolve this problem.