It’s Back to School 2021/2022 and the ACE Learning Centers are Ready
By Martha Sessums, President, ACE
They’re ready. The ACE Learning Center managers have spent the summer analyzing (and re-analyzing) what schooling will look like 15 months into a pandemic, after a sometimes wild path to a virtual learning experience plus the personal needs of students and teachers alike. Many programs and learning experiences were impacted in positive and negative ways, and the review of best practices to implement for the new school year has not only been masterful but has focused on looking forward, not backward.
“As we move forward, we intend not to fall in line behind notions of ‘learning loss,’ said Veronica Garcia Montejano, Principal, Oakland International High School. “Newcomer students do not need additional deficit framing. We will recognize the lost learning opportunities and continue to collaborate in designing learning experiences that grow soft and hard skills, motivating students to find purpose in learning and to assert their own voices.”
Examples of some of the forward-looking programs will be:
Alpha Parent Center – grow the community focus with parents and expand the high school Dream Club that encourages and supports students applying to and entering college.
Oakland International High School ACE Learning Center – provide greater support to dual enrollment students during the school day with elective reading and writing classes designed to support their success in the college courses they are taking; expand the internship/mentor program for Wellness Ambassadors to engage with and support an increased number of students who need the connection, plus include the Ambassador’s opinions and vision in creating school programming that is genuinely responsive to student needs.
San Francisco International High School ACE Learning Center – greater investment in the mentor program to provide meaningful academic support while helping students quickly connect to the community; expand the Span program with an Advisory class for graduating students to help them develop the skills needed to graduate and provide a connection with classmates to help heal the isolation and disconnectedness of the last 15 months; provide additional counseling support; connect and engage with families as a fundamental part of the learning community.
KALW Audio Academy – the 2021/22 Audio Academy class will be announced in September and students, while learning the skills of radio storytelling, will have a focus on community and telling stories that attract a new audience – the diverse and younger Bay Area community.
It looks like an exciting year and the ACE Spectrum blog will attempt to help tell the stories, successes and best practices of the ACE Learning Centers. Stay tuned to be amazed.