What a summer it’s been! APIE’s 2nd grade reading programs received an update on lesson plans, incorporating a stronger writing component that will help prepare them for the new STAAR test requirements next year. Our successes in 6th grade reading prompted a request to follow our students to 7th grade, requiring a whole new set of materials to be written. The middle school math program designed a four week math camp focused on the fundamentals of multiplication, division, decimals and fractions. They also revised workbooks and started planning to expand the program from 8th grade to 6thgrade. And the College Readiness team built a case management model, including a structured program of study to help high school seniors make the grade in English Language Arts, Writing and Math on their college placement exams.
The expansion of programs to new grades and schools requires many more volunteers. Our systems team processed over 1200 Classroom Coaching volunteer registrations and an additional 650+ volunteers for our School Connections/Mentor program. More than 150 hours of skill building instruction has been delivered to date.
Now comes the reward. Classroom Coaching programs got underway over the past three weeks. 841 individual volunteers are working in more than 100 classrooms in the Austin ISD, helping students with math concepts, reading fluency and comprehension. They are helping students’ master critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They are modeling teamwork and providing recognition.
I will meet with my assigned students this week, two 7th graders. These are the same students I supported last year. I’m excited to see them again, to learn how their summer went and hear how 7th grade is going. I’m curious to see how they’ve grown in the past five months. But mostly, I’m looking forward to continuing our friendship and perhaps a bit selfishly, to renew a weekly connection that keeps me focused on the really important stuff in this crazy, wired life.
Pat Abrams, Executive Director