5 March 2020
Every day millions of kids go to school and feel as though no adult in the building cares about them and their success, what is going in their life, or if they even understood what they were just lectured about in class. However, Mr. Motley, our principal, has implemented a new program to change that.
The new system of academic partnerships connects struggling students with administrators and Instructional Team Leaders (ITLs). The teachers and administrators meet with their student(s) a couple times a week and help them reach their goals in and out of school.
The partnership goes beyond just talking about their grades and what they can do to boost them. “We talk about the future, looking at their plans for after high school and try and figure out how we help them get there,” said Mr. Motley.
The partnership also extends beyond just the student and the mentor. Parents are also heavily involved in the partnership; Mr. Motley said he meets with parents to talk about what their goals for their students’ success, so the parents and school are working together.
The partnership started when the ITLs and administrators did a book study on Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond. After they completed their study, they selected a student to mentor using what they had learned from reading and discussing the book. Recently, Mr. Motley started a second round of the book study, this time open to all staff. Seventeen new teachers have signed up and will start their own academic partnerships after completing the book study.
“We really get to know our student,” Social Studies Team Leader Ms. Chaudhry said about the partnership. She continued to say that it really sets up a good kind of mentor-type relationship.
While administrators do not typically work with students, however, Assistant Principal Ms. Nasir who has a partnership with two students said that she prefers to work one on one with students “especially when it comes to achievement.” Ms. Chaudhry echoed this sentiment, saying “I love working one on one with students” and she wishes she can do more of it.
The program has big plans for the future as it plans to keep growing every year, with a goal to eventually have every teacher with a student partnership. With the majority of the students with the partnership being underclassmen there is a great chance that they are going to continue the partnership in the years to come. “I would love to follow my student over the years,” Ms. Nasir said.
As this is just the beginning of the program, you can only imagine how much growth there is to come and how many students will be positively affected.