Back to School at SFIHS ACE Learning Center
By Kyle Halle-Erby, Lindsay Patalano, Vlada Teper
It’s hard to believe we already a month into our new school year. Our ACE Learning Center is in full gear and the work, as always, is full.
Our 9th, 10th and 11th grade students are working hard to develop and master literacy skills through our Acceleration program. Our first year college students, with the support of our Span program, are hard at working finding the resources they need to succeed on their new campuses. And our Continuation pilot program is filling up with returning to SFIHS to complete their high school diplomas. Here are some back to school updates from each of the programs in our ACE Learning Center:
We are finishing our first month of school and the students are curious, excited and engaged. Acceleration students are eager to learn phonics to be able to pronounce and read the English language and communicate with the world around them. They also love learning to write in English; suddenly, they can be understood through the written word, in a whole new language! For me, it is incredibly inspiring to see a 16 year old student who had completed only one year of school in her home country, Mexico, challenge herself daily and be committed to experiencing success in school. She is in class everyday. She is paying attention and asking questions. She is experiencing academic success!
The continuing education team is off to a great start this year. We are currently contacting many former students who had to leave school in the past for various reasons and are encouraging them to come back. Many of these students must work and therefore their schedules cannot fit in to a traditional high school day. With a flexible schedule these students have an opportunity to continue working toward a high school diploma. So far students seem grateful and excited at the prospect of coming back to school again. Their motivation and willingness to take on an additional responsibility is incredibly inspiring and makes us want to support them in any way we can.
As always, our Span program kicked off the week before school started with our summer orientation. The rooms were buzzing as students connected again after being apart for most of the summer. At our first session back together, we focus mostly on administrative tasks to make sure everyone is ready to begin the fall semester. We resolved registration holds, review financial aid documents and finalized the commitments and expectations of being part of the Span program. But first, we took a deep dive into graduation rates across the community college, UC and CSU systems to get a sense of what our students are up against.
Since that first meeting, our Span at CCSF students have been meeting weekly in their LERN 51: College Success Basics course. Our class has already included a tour of key support resources, guest speakers and plenty of community building. I’m looking forward to our first faculty panel coming up at the end of the month.