BTO Coordinator Report
Lynden High School
February 2021

Lifelong connections:

Three mentors reached out to share with me about connections with their students which have been going on long after graduation with students in college and in their early 20’s.  It’s wonderful to hear of these lifelong relationships as mentors and students continue their friendships, regular connections, and supportive relationships. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Support in the tough times:

Mentors are often the first to know of some very intense and difficult situations as they listen to students:  death of a parent, loss of family income, sexual abuse, losing housing.  Confidentiality and respect for those involved means I can’t share details, but I am so thankful for the mentors who care, listen, and have supported students in these very challenging life experiences this school year.  Thank you for being a lifeline!

The reality of mentoring in the time of COVID involves lots of cancelations like:

Me to Mentor: “We have to cancel your meeting for tomorrow—student has symptoms and can’t come back for 10 days or until they bring a negative test result.”

Me to Mentor: “Your student can’t come back to school until March 8th due to contact tracing and exposure.  Do you want to zoom meet instead?”

Mentor to me: “I probably shouldn’t see my student this week because my daughter has a fever and I am going to take her to get tested.  I’m really sorry.”

Me to student: “Your mentor and his wife both have covid, so he can’t come see you until their quarantine is over.  It will be at least 2-3 weeks if not longer.  I’m sorry.”

Program Update:

  • 18 mentor/mentee pairs have been meeting each week in person at the high school either after school or on Fridays—observing social distancing and health requirements
  • Another mentor student pair reconnected in person this week after not seeing each other since March 2020!  Hooray!
  • 8 mentor/mentee pairs have been meeting regularly in the community with off-campus contract privileges
  • A few other pairs are meeting via zoom weekly or bi-weekly
  • Some are still struggling to connect for a variety of reasons
  • continuing with 7 pairs on the text bridge pilot

Mentor Training/Support

  • First virtual Mentor Café—hosted with Brian.  Mentors who RSVP’s received a treat goody bag and connected through a fun game and break out discussions.  Very enjoyable for 10 attendees.
  • First virtual New Mentor Orientation:  had 4 attendees who are in the process of becoming mentors

 

Upcoming:

  • Coordinators will meet in March to share information learned at the National conference and to plan upcoming Mentor training and events for the rest of the year.
  • Must continue to be flexible with our ever changing student schedules and shifting meeting times based on what occurs with campus courses

 

Submitted by Lisa Reynolds; Copies to:  Ian Freeman, David Kish, Rex Fraser, David Vanderyacht, Partners for Schools, and other mentor coordinators