Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeEducationThe Pandemic Left Us In search of Solutions. We Discovered Them in...

The Pandemic Left Us In search of Solutions. We Discovered Them in Our Different Schooling Mannequin.

On March 18th, 2020, my principal pulled me into a gathering with the superintendent, principals, and assistant principals from different excessive faculties within the district. I knew this assembly was essential once I noticed all the opposite directors.

The primary phrases out of my principal’s mouth had been, “we could have to shut the college down for a couple of days.” After listening to this information, I used to be shocked and anxious; we’d by no means needed to shut the college so abruptly earlier than. Shortly after, the assembly delved right into a dialogue in regards to the safer-at-home orders instituted in LA County and the way the college would enact these orders. Initially, we thought college closures would final every week, at most. Nevertheless, as everyone knows, it has lasted for much longer.

Because the safer-at-home orders prolonged from one week to at least one month to an indefinite time, I turned extra involved in regards to the college students and the way the college closure would have an effect on them. As well as, I anxious about whether or not we’d meet our college students’ educational, emotional, and social wants, particularly for college students that attend a non-traditional college.

All through the pandemic, discussions about supporting college students have centered on conventional, complete faculties. The standard, complete faculties are the place most college students get an training. The scholars attend college Monday by way of Friday from 8 am to three pm. Nevertheless, not all college students attend a complete college. There are additionally college students who attend an alternate college as a result of the great college didn’t meet their particular wants.

As an educator who works in an alternate college, I consider you will need to share how various faculties assist college students all through the pandemic and perceive the experiences of the college employees and college students from these faculties.

One Different Schooling Mannequin: Alta Vista Innovation Excessive College

I’m an Assistant Principal at Alta Vista Innovation Excessive College (AVIHS), positioned in an city space of Los Angeles, California. AVIHS follows an impartial examine mannequin of education. Unbiased examine is a hybrid of self-directed studying the place the scholar guides their studying pathway and the continuation mannequin, a extra individualized curriculum with instruction in smaller class sizes). Underneath an impartial examine mannequin, college students are motivated by their very own wants and objectives whereas being supported and guided by a trainer offering an individualized curriculum.

AVIHS serves 500 highschool college students ages 14 to 24. Most of those college students are referred to the college by district counselors, probation officers, or social service businesses. The scholar physique mirrors the group AVIHS serves; nevertheless, it focuses on credit score poor college students at-risk of dropping out of highschool. Listed here are another notable traits and identities represented in our scholar physique:

  • 99% qualify without spending a dime and lowered meals
  • Many college students come from traditionally and racially marginalized backgrounds, together with 42% Black and African college students and 50% Hispanic and Latino college students
  • 33% of the scholars are between the ages of 18 to 24
  • 20% are English Language Learners
  • 15% are college students with particular wants
  • 10% are mother and father

The scholar demographics mirror that the scholars attending AVIHS want greater than educational assist. Due to these demographics, AVIHS turned a Workforce Innovation and Alternative Act (WIOA) college and partnered with an outdoor company to help our college students with part-time employment as they earn their highschool diplomas.

Because of these partnerships, our college students would not have to decide on between incomes a highschool diploma or working to offer for his or her households. Our companions present our college students with the chance to work whereas guaranteeing their educational progress is just not interrupted. Moreover, our companions and AVIHS collaborate to verify that college students are on the trail to commencement. Underneath these partnerships, our college students blossom, attend college persistently, and full educational credit whereas working. Then, the pandemic hit. The college closure and transition to distant studying affected our college students like many others all through the nation. Nevertheless, many working college students noticed their hours lowered or positions eradicated.

For sure, our college students had been in search of solutions and it was as much as us to offer options that may assist them navigate this case.

Help Via the Pandemic

Because the safer-at-home orders prolonged into the 2019-2020 college 12 months got here to an finish, the management workforce met to debate how we’d assist our college students. After the assembly, we determined to create a process drive that included the college management workforce, employees, and college students. As we gathered views from process drive members, we concluded that it was important to concentrate on three key areas: monetary assist, educational assist, and psychological assist.

  • Monetary Help: We agreed that it was essential to assist college students discover safe job alternatives, particularly people who misplaced employment through the pandemic. Via our WIOA partnerships, we established an inner internship alternative to show college students make the most of Tik Tok and different social media as a advertising and marketing software by creating movies for the college. College students had been paid to create video content material for our college’s social media accounts. Moreover, we supplied meal packages that college students might both choose up from the college or somebody from the management workforce would drop it off at their dwelling. By specializing in these two areas, we had been ready to make sure that college students weren’t placing themselves and their households in danger by leaving their properties to work, and it additionally supplied our college students with cash that they might use as they noticed match.
  • Tutorial Help: Along with scholar funds, we additionally wished to verify college students might meet their instructional objectives. Whereas all college students in Los Angeles attended college remotely, a lot of our college students had been additionally supporting their youthful siblings or youngsters. Realizing this, we realized an 8 am to three pm college schedule wouldn’t work. To fight this problem, our college employees turned versatile to fulfill the wants of our college students. We expanded our hours for college students; academics started working chunked shifts that met the wants of the scholars’ schedules. Some academics break up their each day schedules by working within the mornings (8 to 11 am) and later within the evenings (5 to eight pm). Others opened up the weekend hours and taught college students Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Psychological Help: Lastly, we addressed psychological well being. Our faculty counselors supplied skilled developments to our academics and faculty employees on trauma-informed practices and finest assist our college students throughout this time. We additionally partnered with Care Solace to offer our college students with any extra psychological well being assist that our college students and their households wanted outdoors of the college.

Specializing in the general scholar and the three elements of monetary, educational, and psychological assist ensured our college students knew we had been dedicated to their total wellbeing.

Creating Options for Each Scholar

Faculties have at all times been, for my part, a protected place for college students; it’s the place college students obtain help to assist their educational objectives, psychological wellbeing, and each day sustenance that some can not entry at dwelling. Fortunately, probably the most vital change I’ve seen through the pandemic is that faculties have accelerated the tempo at which they adapt to fulfill the wants of their college students. Nevertheless, there’s extra that we will do.

The pandemic has strengthened that there isn’t any such factor as a one-size-fits-all method to supporting college students. Every scholar has their very own wants, a few of which can’t be met if our options solely concentrate on conventional faculties and scholar populations. That’s the reason we should share extra info and finest practices throughout our faculties. The extra we share about what faculties are doing – each conventional and various – the higher we will assist college students.



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