ACE Learning Center Personnel Support Their Schools and the Current Art of Education
By Martha Sessums, President, ACE
Remote learning during the 2020/2021 pandemic school year was a challenge for everyone. It used internet-based Zoom-style software to deliver video and audio to home-bound students. Teachers delivered classes from their homes while students had to find a computer device to watch the classes along with space in a sometimes-crowded home. It was particularly difficult for families with students in a variety of class levels. Attendance and focus were challenged, as was learning – and teaching.
But it was the right thing to do for the time. The ACE Learning Centers did their best to continue to deliver their classes as we learned from past ACE Spectrum blogs.
This 2021/2022 school year started out different as everyone was typically back in the classroom. But with the fast-moving omicron variant and new ways to deal with it in schools, safety became paramount. Today, the schools are taxed due to limited supplies such as testing kits and face masks, increased teacher and student absentees due to high quarantine or illness rates and not enough substitute teachers. Just read the news headlines, or part of an email I received from Irene Kim, Vice-Principal at Oakland International High School (OIHS), that hosts an ACE Learning Center.
“It’s been quite a whirlwind at OIHS,” Kim wrote. “Unfortunately, we’ve been short-staffed and having to juggle normal operations… This is all to say that it has been no easy task. As you can imagine, we have been stretched to our limits.”
According to the various headlines, the schools, school districts and communities are grappling with the decision to keep schools open or return to remote learning. The safety demands of both students and teachers are strong. Consensus seems to be difficult right now.
But the ACE Learning Centers are doing their best to support the “stretched” schools and their communities. Staff at the ACE Learning Center (Alpha Parent Center) at Alpha Public Schools are helping fill in personnel needs either in the classroom if they have teaching credentials or administrative jobs. This includes giving Covid quick tests to students and luckily, to date, there are plenty of tests at Alpha. The International schools are doing the same – providing creative support for their educational colleagues where needed.
Once again, challenges are high. Juggling operations and education becomes an art form. The goal is to keep educating students while keeping students, teachers and school administrators safe and healthy. There is no “normal,” it’s just what works daily. Stay tuned for stories illustrating the strong spirit of the ACE Learning Center partners and how they support their schools, co-workers, students, local communities and the current art of education.