Unfortunately, our students were one of the groups that suffered the most from the pandemic. To help students catch up, I would apply for American Rescue Plan funds to secure resources for learning acceleration programs. These funds can be used for high-quality and effective tutoring, custom learning acceleration opportunities, and the use of out-of-school time to support students’ academic needs.
The COVID -19 pandemic clearly had an effect on many students and it is clear that there are gaps in learning. I can share from my experience that students are very resilient in general. Educational studies over the years have shown that student success and their ability to catch up is primarily based on schools’ understanding students’ individual needs and addressing these needs to enable students to excel in education. As an educator for the past 20 years, I can tell you that it is not difficult to understand the needs of every student and support them in a process of catching up or even excelling beyond their grade level. The school district needs to prioritize creating policies and practices that support teachers and their ability to understand individual student needs in order to meet the needs of every student effectively. Policies that support teachers in this aspect of education are crucial. This change needs to be a top priority. Research shows that when students are engaged and provided the necessary support, learning gaps or what might be seen as learning deficiencies close very quickly. What the district needs is to provide the teachers with the resources to close the gaps and to set expectations that each student’s needs will be addressed. I have reviewed numerous schools in California and can say with certainty that this is a model that works.
COVID had a major impact on all of our students. The Board and I believed that opening schools for in-person learning was the right thing to do and that is why I championed our efforts to bring students back on campus for in person learning. In fact, we were the first school district in San Diego to do so. I am proud to be part of the Board that puts our students and staff first. As a parent and Board member, I know how important teacher and student relationships are and that is why as President of the AUSD Board of Trustees I supported our District’s focus this year to lower class sizes in all grade levels to ensure our teachers have more opportunities to interact with our students and support their learning. Additionally, to help our students accelerate their learning, our District implemented a new assessment system last year that will provide students and teachers with in-the-moment information about where students are succeeding and what areas need support. We will be implementing a new tutoring program this year to provide additional support to our students. Lastly, I am proud of our District’s efforts in offering a range of expanded learning opportunities for our students. These opportunities have been very successful and provided additional opportunities for our students to learn.