Ferndale High School – September 2020

Stories to share:

There are many mixed emotions about remote learning this Fall. Some students are enjoying the newly-created structure that the online platforms provide and are finding success. Others are saying they learn better at school and are struggling to learn in such a different way. Some are taking advanced classes, in charge of younger family members or working a side job in addition to school. Be the One mentors are listening, encouraging and helping them navigate their new learning environment.

 A mentor asked their mentee if she has been hanging out with her friends. The student said she is not hanging out with her friends anymore, but they would start off where they left off once she was back at school. I told a teacher this story, and he said he wasn’t surprised. Many students do not spend time with their friends outside of school. They stay home and interact with their friends over social media.  A Zoom call with a mentor is a way for students to spend time “in realtime” with someone who cares about them. A commodity that is needed more than ever.

We closed a match last year because the student transferred to another school district right before March. The student is back at FHS and we are looking into reopening the match and reconnecting the mentor and mentee!

The mentor coordinator is calling families to inform them about how we are conducting BTO this year. So many of the families expressed their appreciation for Be the One and the mentors who spend time with their student. Many of the families were interested in an in-person option, if/when it is available for our students. FHS is going on our 3rd year with Be the One, and families are already seeing the benefits of having a consistent, caring adult outside their family unit.

 Fall Startup:

  • School started on September 2nd
  • Zoom, Canvas and Edgenuity are the virtual platforms for students to engage in remote learning
  • Students have 4 classes instead of 8 classes
  • Schoolwide standards for attendance, schedules & curriculum are now in place.
  • Internet sites established for students w/o strong connectivity to internet
  • September = Stage 2 for reopening. See link: https://www.ferndalesd.org/reopening-plan/learning-model-status

 Working on contacting all mentors/mentees from last year

  • Checking in with mentors and their availability to be a mentor again this year
  • Emailing students for input on how/when to engage w/their mentor this year
  • Informing students’ families of how BTO is operating during remote learning and getting permission for mentor-mentee correspondence

 Matches are reconnecting

  • Mentors and Mentees are corresponding by email and Zoom.
  • 10 matches met via Zoom in September
  • Another 3 matches are corresponding regularly over email
  • 1 match decided to mail letters to each other
  • Students are only interacting with mentors outside of class time

Program Development

  • No new matches at FHS in September. Focusing on reconnecting current matches.
  • Mentor Welcome Back Zoom – September 22nd
  • Mentor Coordinators are checking in with each other and collaborating on a regular basis.