NewsThe Academy for Success

How do you support students who need additional support to graduate remotely?

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What is The Academy for Success?

The Academy for Success is a life-changing program for students who self-identify as high school dropouts. Participating students are placed in a cohort to work with Academy teachers and mentors, and attend group and personal counseling to help develop healthy behaviors. In 2018, 98% of the seniors in the program graduated from high school and 92% enrolled in post-secondary education.

Watch this short video to see The Academy for Success in action.

Back in March, when Kelly Choi, Director of the Academy for Success, announced to the students that they would be moving to remote learning, they initially thought the students could at least have some time at school. The students needed to have access to the support staff, get help with school work, and maintain their relationships even if it was just a few hours a week.
So, how did Kelly Choi and the rest of her team adapt so that they could continue giving students the support they need remotely? 

By Staying in Touch!

Luckily, the relationships between the students, teachers, and support staff were already firmly established. According to Kelly, “They’re so strong that we were able to reach out to the kids immediately. We were able to tell them what was going on, check in with them, see how they were doing, and just reassure them that they were not alone and that we would be helping them step-by-step.”

The support system these students had before remote learning still plays an active role in their lives. The Academy provides the same counselors, therapists, life coaches, mentors, and academic help they were before, now virtually.

A Creative Team of Educators

Student activities and internships have been more difficult transitions. Still, teachers have been putting their creativity to work and are actively coming up with new ways to keep students connected and having fun with each other.

It’s not just the Academy’s staff that’s been resourceful during this sudden transition. There are still many who are checking in on the Academy to make sure it’s still providing the best support possible for students. Some have even delivered food to the students’ families whose parents have lost their jobs. “In this way, I would say the community is giving more to the kids than the kids can give to the community right now”, said Kelly.

An Opportunity for Student Choice

The Academy has always promoted student choice as a driver for school content and learning methods. Remote learning is allowing them to exercise this now more than ever for developing students’ life skills, social-emotional standards, and post-graduation plans.

According to Kelly, “We’ve already been on a journey of changing academics. We really believe that it’s time for education to change, and in a strange way this is giving us our opportunity to do so.”

We all know that this is an uncertain time for our community, but it’s especially important to support our struggling students as they continue learning remotely.

Special thanks to the fantastic The Academy for Success for sharing her content and serving our students.

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