Teachers offer special in-person instruction for some students
On-campus supports continue to expand
As students, teachers, and families work through the challenges of distance learning, some students are having an especially tough time academically and social-emotionally. This month, teachers at two schools—Sherman Oaks and Campbell School of Innovation—led the effort to provide in-person instruction to these vulnerable students prior to the district’s official transition to Phase 2.
“In the spirit of equity, we must find ways to meet the needs of these students now,” said Marco Chavez, Principal of Sherman Oaks Dual Immersion School.
The school is rising to the challenge with its Specialized Learning Lab. Four weeks ago, Resource Specialist Jeni Marty launched the custom on-campus learning lab, using the District’s general Learning Labs as a model. Two groups of 10 Sherman Oaks students take part.
At Campbell School of Innovation (CSI), two Inclusion Specialists launched similar on-campus classes two weeks ago. Laura Hamer and Megan Noriega work with 14 students in the learning center. CSI Principal Kami Thordarson noted the benefits for the students and the teachers.
“Having teachers and instructional aides there with the students removes barriers that our struggling students were having with distance learning,” she said. “In a classroom, a teacher gets immediate feedback just by scanning the room. Getting that feedback through Zoom lessons is more challenging and takes much more time. This extra support helps the students and their teachers.”
Success is clear for both schools. Students are more engaged, they are completing more assignments, and more teachers are creating ways to offer safe, in-person learning for their students.
This week at Sherman Oaks, fourth-grade teachers started a twice-a-week reading and English Language Development session. Also, Chavez and Assistant Principal Pablo Viramontes launched Español con los directores, a twice-weekly all-Spanish language session designed for students in grades TK-1st.
“We are very intentional about following the safety protocols and about identifying the students who need this kind of intervention,” said Chavez, noting that not everyone feels ready to be on campus.
“Offering these labs feels like we’re moving in the right direction,” said Assistant Principal Viramontes. “It’s a place to start. We plan; we adjust; we move forward.”
“These educators are providing an essential step forward in our plan to bring students back to campus gradually,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “We continue in our commitment to meet all of our students’ needs and educate them to their highest potential.”