While the world around us may seem more uncertain than ever before, at IDEA we are making exciting plans for our scholars for this fall and beyond. Whether we are teaching face to face or in a virtual environment, we are determined to find innovative ways to engage and educate our scholars.
Sparked by discussions among staff during our recent Leadership Development Institute, we have developed and are currently testing several new initiatives for IDEA scholars and staff. I am particularly excited about Individualized Learning Plans. When we analyzed the data from scholars during the period when the school building was closed, we realized some scholars truly excelled in the virtual world. Their engagement, attention, and performance skyrocketed. Not everyone, however, thrives with distance learning. As a result, we understand that it’s necessary to work with every single scholar to determine their comfort level with online learning and provide options to develop a plan based on what they need. As IDEA considers moving away from the traditional schedule including several class periods each day, some scholars may attend school in person two days a week to focus on the classes where they benefit most from live classroom instruction, access tutoring online as needed, and check in with their mentors via email. Read more about this and other initiatives here.
I’m also looking forward to embracing the theme for the upcoming school year: Building Equity as a Pack. Building equity as a pack means thinking about all scholars, embracing their differences, and supporting them in whatever way they need. We’ve started by examining the needs of students with disabilities and expanding out from there so we can help everyone. The theme includes three focus areas: equity for all; building strong meaningful relationships; and high-quality, engaging, and rigorous teaching and learning. We’re being very conscious about how we’re supporting our Black and brown children, and making sure we are uplifting who they are. Read more about what our theme means here.
While summer means vacation for some, many of our scholars are hard at work at their internships through the IDEA Summer Jobs Program. Scholars are learning leadership and advocacy skills, computer coding languages, child development theory, and career readiness skills. Learn more about our internships here.
Finally, keep an eye out around the neighborhood for the IDEA bus, which is making stops at scholars’ homes to deliver meals, IDEA swag, and gift boxes for members of our parting senior class. Timberwolf pride remains strong all summer long!