2020 was far from ordinary; it changed our lives and those of the 13,000+ students we serve across the network. We began the year celebrating our 20th Anniversary, but we quickly embarked on an unprecedented path that demanded unprecedented change. We adapted our model and practices as the country shifted to distance learning as a result of the pandemic; We reimagined the delivery of critical resources and programs in virtual settings; We found new ways to safely connect with our students and families; And most of all, we remained steadfast in preparing our students for college, leadership, and life.
Last year taught us that in times of uncertainty it's crucial to celebrate the bright spots. As the new year begins, we’re sharing a few ways our students, educators, and schools inspired us in 2020.
Narrowing the Digital Divide
For many parents, COVID-19 has surfaced new challenges and anxieties as they grapple with uncertainty. Adjusting to what some call the ‘new normal’ has been far from easy for Noemi Rodriguez and her family.
Jocelyn Maceda Orduna, a Class of 2020 graduate of Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School (APB), will never forget the day she learned that she’d be spending the next four years of her life at Stanford University. On this day, Orduna nervously hovered her finger over the application status notification, unsure if she should open the message. In hopes of softening the blow of bad news, earlier that day she told her sisters that she wasn't accepted.
Serving Our Families
When Valencia Dean enrolled her daughter Jada into Wooddale Middle School 5 years ago, she immediately knew that she had found the perfect school for her daughter. “Parents with special needs children don't always feel secure with schools because some kids can't tell you what's happened that day. And so Jada had some good teachers in between, but none gave me the security that I felt when she started going to Green Dot,” said Dean.
Socioemotional Support, Reimagined
School psychologists are fundamental to the success and well-being of our students. They work with school leaders and educators to identify trauma in our students to develop long-term coping strategies, they also provide crisis and behavioral interventions and through their partnership with community agencies connect families with additional resources.
Committment to 100% Live Classes
As we implemented early lessons and refined our distance learning model over the summer, it was clear that live video instruction made a big difference for students. We had to prioritize synchronous learning to build community and effectively support our students’ academic progress.
Belief in Student Potential
Carmen Leiva, a math teacher at Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy, loves watching students in her classroom experience “light bulb moments” of realization. In these instances she’d see a spark in their eyes when they’d see their hard work come to fruition.
Helping Students Smile Past Uncertainty
Our school leaders have truly taken our commitment to removing barriers and embracing connectedness to new heights.
Crossing College Awareness Gaps, Virtually
For the last four years, our school counselors and teachers have spearheaded Senior Bridge, an intensive four-week summer enrichment course that guides students through the college application process.
Amid distance learning, our Advisory has remained a crucial safe zone for students where students cope with the unprecedented shifts in their lives.
Last year, students across the world gave up their graduations for the safety of our communities. However, many of them shared their speeches far and wide during their virtual graduation ceremonies. Here’s a look at how one student plans to use what she learned during the pandemic to overcome other challenges throughout her life.
Celebrating Our High-Perfoming Schools
Nine Green Dot Public Schools rank among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best High School Rankings.
All Means All
On a crisp December morning, a group of Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory High School student-athletes arrived ready to play basketball at Mayfair High School and were welcomed by a zealous row of parents, students, faculty, and staff. Read about their amazing journey.
Quality Begins with Accountability
As we celebrate 20 years of changing the odds for students, we are proud that seven of our schools received charter renewals from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education.