Open School has received national and community attention for our response to distance learning. An article about our work entitled “Advancing Equity: Connecting students with the support of social-emotional learning during COVID-forced school closings”, written by our Board Member Dr. Beth Tarasawa, will appear this month in School Administrator magazine.
What makes Open School Online notable?
“When Open School East, like many schools nationwide, had to continue remote instruction through the start of 2020-21, its first goal was to keep students connected. Staff, students and leaders united in a resilient effort, not allowing a global pandemic to block education. The advocacy work had to adapt too.
Much of Open School East’s successful pivot to remote instruction can be attributed to an advocacy model it had in place for years.
‘Many of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) students come to us with educational trauma — with deep mistrust of schools and teachers and self-doubt about their own learning abilities. Our relationships are key levers for students to actualize their academic goals,’ says principal Michelle Cardenas.
Open School East’s students, most of whom would be considered historically underserved, have demonstrated outstanding engagement in remote settings during COVID closures, when otherwise we have seen few success stories. The school’s student body is nearly 70 percent BIPOC. More than a quarter of students have an individual education program. The majority entered the school two or three grade levels behind academically. In a beating-the-odds story, the school last June had a 91 percent graduation rate (higher than the state’s 80 percent average).
Success stories of this sort need the leadership of trailblazers who intentionally build a culture of community, authenticity and empowerment.
Read the full article below.