Student at Gratts Primary Education Center
It was a year of change and growth for Para Los Niños’ three charter schools. A new Superintendent of Schools was appointed as were new Principals at each school, and several other positions were added to strengthen our campuses. Moreover, we invested significantly in leadership training for both administrators and teachers.
The results have been immediate if measured. We saw moderate growth on statewide English, math and science assessments, implemented a new student data system, and began a pilot program to more effectively blend technology into our curriculum. We continue to pursue a student inquiry based approach, and we infuse group visual art projects into the learning process for all grades, as is seen on the walls throughout our schools.
Moreover, we are seeing the successful integration of mental health, medical, and social services into the learning on our campuses. We have a fully functioning wellness center on our middle school campus, complete with active therapy rooms and a visiting dentist, and we have introduced sensory integration techniques and practice across all 3 schools. Our school, mental health and social services staff have monthly integrated services meetings and work hand-in-hand with on campus staff and teachers to ensure students and their families get the services they need.
Our after-school program continued to be a bulwark of our approach, serving nearly 700 of our nearly 1,200 charter school students daily with academic enrichment and opportunities to explore music, art and sport. The vast majority of children in our after-school program are with us from early in the morning to 6 pm. We recognize the unique role we play in these children’s lives and the often difficult circumstances they endure. As a result, we strive to provide a safe place where they can gain the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to build a healthy life.
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