P (949) 585-2996
F (949) 753-7875
Dr. Polk is a former National Board Certified Teacher (Early Childhood/Generalist) who frequently consults for West Ed as they create and implement CDE’s professional development materials related to dual language learners. She previously served as an Early Childhood Education Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). In this position, she provided guidance and technical assistance to a number of major projects and programs, including the First 5LA Universal Prekindergarten Research Advisory Committee. Most recently, Dr. Polk was assigned to the California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)—Region 11 as the Early Childhood Education/Dual Language Learner Lead. In this capacity, she designed, developed, and delivered professional development for preschool teachers and administrators. Before joining CPIN, Dr. Polk provided direction and guidance to the First 5LA funded Family Literacy Support Network (FLSN). In this role, she employed her expertise in early childhood education, emergent literacy, and assessment to assist Los Angeles County ECE providers in using child outcome data to individualize instruction and for program improvement. Dr. Polk has supported and significantly contributed to a number of efforts to identify and support the needs of young Dual Language Learners (DLL). Most recently, she co-coordinated the panel presentation Principles and Practices from Multiple Perspectives a Panel Presentation focused on Promoting Language, Literacy and Learning for Preschool English Learners. Dr. Polk has delivered training based on the resource guide Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, Learning (California Department of Education, 2007) to hundreds of early childhood educators. In addition, through the Division for School Improvement at LACOE, she designed, developed and delivered a four-day module based on this document. In 2004, Dr. Polk coordinated the California Department of Education (CDE) Even Start Office ECE/ DLL Round Table discussion that included researchers and practitioners. This work resulted in the compilation of early childhood educators’ frequently asked questions regarding the most effective practice for school readiness and young DLLs. To culminate this work, Dr. Polk authored a discussion paper highlighting considerations for meeting the needs of young DLLs in program development and implementations. In addition, Dr. Polk participated in an eight county collaborative efforts to review the research and best practices for meeting the needs of preschool age DLLs. The collaborative developed six research-based guiding principles to respond to questions from the field.
Early Childhood Education
PhD, Claremont Graduate School
NCATE/NAEYC SPA Reviewer Presenter, National Head Start Association Annual Conference Presenter, National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference Presenter, California Head Start Association Annual Conference