Ferndale High School
Stories to share:
Students are back on Campus!
I saw so many students for the first time in 10 months! Now that many students are back at school with a hybrid schedule, I sought out students who have only been communicating over email or not at all. I was curious if they would enjoy interacting with me since it’s been almost a year. The first two students I saw talked for fifteen minutes straight! I was worried they wouldn’t talk to me since it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen them. The flip side to that coin is that they have 10 months of life to update me on. Their mentors have been thrilled to hear all the life updates.
Food Access for Students
As I was checking in with students, I learned that a student is consistently hungry throughout the week. Last year, hungry students could go to the counseling office to get a granola bar, but I found out this resource was not available to students this year. I called a district office employee for help. Luckily, she knew of a community partner that could fill this need! There are now multiple stations at FHS for any hungry students who need it. I also delivered a huge bag of food to the student so they could have some food at home, as well.
Due to many circumstances, a mentee and mentor have not been able to meet in-person for two years. During this period, they have been pen pals writing to each other about their lives. The two met in-person at a local restaurant (via our off-campus protocols) and have decided to meet weekly! They can now continue their relationship face to face.
13/29 BTO students are staying remote this semester (44% of BTO Students)
- Of these remote students, 6 are engaging regularly with their mentor through Zoom or TextBridge (43% engagement)
16/29 BTO students are utilizing the hybrid model
- Of these hybrid students, 11 are engaging regularly with their mentor through Zoom or TextBridge (68% engagement)
There is a correlation between hybrid students and higher BTO engagement. This also shows that 44% of our BTO students chose to stay remote, which could eliminate an in-person option for these students. Just another challenge to overcome.
Lastly, of the engagement numbers: 5 students have started engaging with their mentor who were not engaging last semester! This is a mixture of remote and hybrid students.
15 students using Zoom or TextBridge regularly
1 Student started off-campus, in-person mentoring
13 students emailing occasionally, disengaged, or waiting until next year to resume
Quotes from Students about Hybrid Learning:
“There’s pros and cons, but I think the pros outweigh the cons.” – Sophomore
“I like it a lot. It is going pretty good…I get to actually have human contact again and it feels so nice to be back in the school in all honestly. I missed being at the school and had to actually remember where everything was cause I was so thrown off. –Sophomore
Meeting in Person Status: Permission Approved!
- In-person meetings for mentors and students is now approved.
- Mentor Coordinator has a meeting on Monday to learn protocols and health guidelines.
- In-person meetings will begin in early March.
TextBridge – Secure Texting for Mentors and Students
- Piloting program for students and their mentor
- No contact info is exchanged
- Texting between the hours of 7am-8pm
- All messages are logged in a database
- 7 matches are currently using this tool at FHS (up from 5 matches last month)
- No new matches at FHS in February. Two students will meet a potential mentor in March.
- Mentor Coordinator checked in with all hybrid students who were not responding to emails while remote. Mentor coordinator asked for feedback from students who are not engaging with their mentor.
- Hybrid students (who aren’t using Zoom w/mentor) are interested in in-person meetings.
- Remote students (who aren’t using Zoomw/mentor) – One decided to leave BTO, three have decided to wait until next year to restart mentoring, and one is interested in an in-person option. A couple have decided to try Zoom.
- Mentor and Mentee met off-campus and will begin regular in-person meetings.
- Café Hour – February 25th 3:00pm
- 7 mentors attended a social hour. Attendees received a goody bag filled with treats to enjoy while we played a game and had good discussions!
- Food Stations – I coordinated with a district office employee so any hungry students can receive snacks at school by going to the counseling office.
- Helping to launch online portal
- Mentor Coordinators are checking in with each other and collaborating on a regular basis.