Bay Edition - August 2021

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Mental health money Given the emotional toll of the 2018 Santa Fe ISD shooting and COVID-19, Clear Creek ISD has allocated more of its budget to mental health resources over the past few years.

or SEL, which encompasses the processes that help develop the self-awareness, self-control and inter- personal skills necessary to succeed. “We all wish we had extra time in some subject areas or wish we could y through the curriculum in others,” said Robert Bayard, CCISD deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “It doesn’t matter what a student’s strengths or weaknesses are—we ... help them to improve based on their individual pathway to learning and, sometimes, [their unique] pace.” Personalized learning has been a vital aspect of CCISD’s strategic plan since 2013, but even more so given the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, ocials told Community Impact Newspaper . Elementary and secondary sta lost out on many personalized learning opportunities amid remote learning environments, Bayard said, but nine elementary schools will be involved in the rst wave of campus-by-campus personalized learning support starting this fall. Learning curve A broader-than-normal range of prociency is expected in fall 2021 due to pandemic learning loss, fur- ther necessitating personalized learn- ing practices, Superintendent Eric Williams said at a July 12 board work- shop. To properly assess the resources needed at each campus, supports are being implemented in waves. Nine elementary schools will be the focus for 2021-22 with leaders also identifying support needed at the high school level, per CCISD ocials. Another nine elementary and ve intermediate schools will be the fol- lowing year, and the remaining nine elementary and ve intermediate schools will be targeted in 2023-24. Personalized learning practices will eventually involve hybrid learning, in which students can balance remote and in-person instruction to suit their needs, Bayard said. About $7.1million of the about $36.5 million CCISD is receiving in federal

To him, equity is about meeting the nuanced needs of each student; for example, a gifted and talented stu- dent is not necessarily one without need of additional SEL support, nor is that student automatically excelling in every course, Bayard said. Math learning in kindergarten through eighth grade involves the pro- gram DreamBox, which is designed to complement district practices and has lessons that adapt to each student to provide an ideal personalized learning experience, said Susan Silva, CCISD assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, via email. CCISD has utilized DreamBox in varying degrees for the last ve aca- demic years, rst purchasing a pilot version for select grades in 2016-17. The district now pays about $177,120 annually for the program for all of its 27 elementary schools. The program’s dashboard provides teachers with several types of reports, so they always know how their stu- dents are performing, how DreamBox is helping and if students have other needs, Silva said. During the 2020-21 school year, almost 60% of kindergarten students were able to work above grade level in DreamBox, and more than 40% of rst- and second-graders were work- ing above grade level in 2020-21, according to Silva. Deepening sta knowledge Personalized education philoso- phies also extend to sta: The district uses the term “professional learning” over professional development to emphasize the importance of educa- tors setting their own goals and form- ing collaborative circles, Bayard said. Professional learning for teachers includes professional learning com- munities, where teachers of similar content can collaborate to analyze data, determine student strengths and weaknesses and adjust along the way based on student performance, Bayard said. “We’re really focusingon response to intervention … and the best rst-time instruction,” he said. “Some students

Budget

Mental health allocation

Clear Creek ISD

$11.3M

$325.8M

2016-17 2020-21

+29.6%

+13.7%

$370.5M

$14.6M

Resource breakdown Clear Creek ISD has invested in hiring more school counselors in recent years. The Ameri- can School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students per counselor.

Mental health professionals

Students per mental health professional

00.00

Students

2016-17

41,960

91

0

461.1

600

2017-18

42,165

106

0

397.78

600

2018-19

42,201

108

0

390.75

600

2019-20

42,486

109

0

389.78

600

2020-21

40,737

110

0

370.33

600

SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Social and emotional needs District leaders are focused on reig- niting students’ classroom passion and fostering enthusiasm for learning in ways that help boost young learn- ers’ condence, board President Jay Cunningham said. “When they’re at school, they’re in their safe place,” he added. “That’s where learning is going to occur. Personalized learning practices are designed to bolster students’ sense of well-being across all grade levels and help them feel valued, ocials said. Part of the conversation around personalized learning involves a uniform understanding of equity, Bayard said.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds will be spent on personalized learning-related sup- ports in 2021-22. That includes about $2 million on interventionists, which include retired teachers, teachers per- forming extra duties or paraprofes- sionals aspiring to become teachers. An additional four counselor or social worker positions will also be funded through ESSER for scal year 2021-22, per district documents. CCISD has allocated $160,000 per year out of ESSER funds for two social worker positions, according to Alice Benzaia, director of business services and nancial planning.

“WE ALLWISHWE HAD EXTRA TIME IN SOME SUBJECT AREAS OR WISHWE COULD FLY THROUGH THE CURRICULUM INOTHERS.” ROBERT BAYARD, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

“WHEN THEY’RE AT SCHOOL, THEY’RE IN THEIR SAFE PLACE. THAT’SWHERE LEARNING IS GOING TOOCCUR." JAY CUNNINGHAM, BOARD PRESIDENT

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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