National Charter Schools Week: Bright Spots and Joy
This week, we’re taking the time to reflect on the resiliency of our schools and their ability to support educators, families and students overcome all obstacles. Nationwide, a movement to help provide high quality public education to every child in their own neighborhoods has helped prepare all students for college, leadership, and life. It goes without saying that we’re all grappling with a crisis unlike any before. So now more than ever, as we observe National Charter Schools Week, it’s crucial to celebrate the bright spots in our public schools and the communities we serve. Here are a few we’d like to share:
Bridging the Digital Divide
This health crisis surfaced the digital divide and exposed just how wide the gulf between the connected and unconnected is. To successfully launch our distance learning program, our schools in California distributed Chromebooks and hotspots to over 4,000 students by way of drive-thru distribution sites and deliveries. “Our goal from day one was to get 100% of our students connected and accessing our distance learning program.” said Nate Geller, Principal of Animo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School. Within three days of technology distribution, 96% of his students were engaging with distance learning. The school then narrowed down a list of remaining students and together Gellar and his staff delivered devices to students’ homes.
“Week in and week out our staff is stepping up in unexpected ways.” This incredible work would not have been possible without the support of our dedicated partners and individuals. Equipping the 15,000 students we serve with technology and internet access is an enormous challenge, but one that must be met.
Over 80,000 Meals and Counting
Throughout the network, our schools have responded to the increasing demand for food services in their communities. Each week, our schools are distributing thousands of meals to students and families in their neighborhoods. This month, Fairley High School partnered with Mid-South Food Bank to provide meals to families in need. Together they distributed 360 food packs, consisting of produce, chicken, grains and snacks.
Recognizing Our Teachers
During National Teacher Appreciation Week, we recognized our educators for their unwavering dedication to the students and families who have entrusted us to provide a high quality education. “Our teachers are amazing, they go above and beyond everyday whether it's on campus or through distance learning,” said Catherine Perez, Principal at Animo Leadership Charter High School. Their commitment to excellence has ensured the success of our distance learning program. “Our teachers, staff, and administrators have built strong academic resources and engaging lessons that have made it possible to deliver high quality instruction online,” said Annette Gonzalez, Green Dot Chief Academic Officer.
Celebrating our Seniors
In honor of National Decision Day, many of our seniors shared what colleges they have chosen to attend in the fall. In just a few weeks they will enter a new stage in their lives, equipped with the knowledge and tools to find success regardless of the path they choose. We are incredibly proud of our seniors, for their hard work and dedication. We can’t wait to see how they shape the world.
Ranked Among the Best
Over the past 20 years Green Dot has set and raised the bar for public education. Our efforts were recognized this spring when nine Green Dot schools were ranked among America’s best high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best High School Rankings.
We are proud of our educators, staff, students, and our 20 year track record of going above and beyond to lead academically rigorous public schools in neighborhoods across the country that are in highest need of high quality school options.