By: Ingrid Anderson, corps member
Although I thoroughly enjoyed having an extended winter break, I was anxious to get back to North High School the first week in January. We had a full day of professional development with our teachers where we divided up by department and went over the standardized test scores from the previous semester. We also discussed some new school policies that we have helped implement: detentions are now given out for students that are tardy or out of dress code.
Armed with fresh data on my focus list students and bolstered by strict building policies that will assist students in getting accustomed to higher behavioral expectations, I was looking forward to actually seeing the students. Imagine my surprise when most of them seemed to have missed us as much as we missed them! Approaching City Year culture with a fresh outlook has made me nothing but optimistic about this semester. The icing on the cake is that my team is equally charged up to support the students.
Our Math Coordinator is working with the Corps Members who work in math classes to start a math “boot camp” where students will be supported in learning remedial math skills to help them succeed in their second semester of Algebra I. Our Literacy Coordinators have started a lunchtime book club, and several Corps Members are planning on joining in. To support our students in improving their attendance, we are offering small incentives for improving their attendance by 5% or more. For example, students will be allowed to eat lunch in the City Year room with the team as a reward! As Service & Outreach Coordinator, I am starting a coat drive for students who consistently show up to school without appropriate cold-weather gear. I will be reaching out to the West Highlands community for their support, as well as to the students, teachers, and staff.
This a great time of year to refresh our outlooks on service, students, and to make resolutions for the future. My students were asked to make New Year’s resolutions in the Algebra I class that I support, and I was ecstatic to find that most of their goals were to utilize City Year’s before- and after-school tutoring more often and more effectively. Finding our place in the school has been an adventure, but I am more motivated than ever to support my students and co-team members in their resolutions and initiatives.