This post is one of the four supporting statements of my Governing Board Platform.
As a Freedom Academy parent, regardless of the ups-and-downs that can and always will occur in any school, we keep our kids in Freedom Academy because we believe that our children have the very best chance of learning in the environment that Freedom Academy has provided our children.
However, I know our experience is not the same experience every student or parent has at Freedom Academy.
Of course, there are others, but two main groups I feel we are not addressing well with our current school is to:
- Integrate new students and their families into the ?Freedom Academy Way? earlier, faster and with better support.
- Support and assist struggling students and their parents to catch-up to where they belong.
As we grow, and new students join our school, there will continually be a need for new and struggling students to receive additional support resources over-and-above what they currently receive
When I spoke to several charter schools outside of Utah because of some research on the school expansion project, those administrators unilaterally noted that these two classes of students–new and struggling?need quick integration, immediate and consistent mentoring, and a broad range of support for both the student and their family if they are to be successful Freedom Academy students and stay with us.
Some of these methods include:
- Before and After School Homework Clubs, run by volunteer parents or teachers and, in some cases, with other students in advanced reading or math levels.
- Every new family attends mandatory integration night meetings to learn about the curriculum and to clarify what the parents and students are expected to do.
- Struggling students are identified with calls home from teachers and administrators every six-weeks in order to call attention to potential problems as quickly as possible. Families and students are given assistance options in various ways rather than just the teacher ?dumping? the problem on the family.
- Other families volunteer to be a resource to mentor new families and help them understand some of the things we do that other schools don?t (like ?Curriculum Night!?)
What are your thoughts?