NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The pandemic has impacted learning in several ways and some students may need some help transitioning back into the classroom.
Well, Rogers Public Schools launched a new position to help kids fill in those gaps that may have been created during the pandemic academically, socially and emotionally.
New this year, a student success coordinator has been placed at every middle school and high school. It was made possible by the school emergency relief fund through the CARES Act.
Christhian Saavedra, was placed at Rogers Heritage High School. He says the first step is working with counselors and teachers to identify the students who may need the additional support.
” It’s as simple as kids struggling with ice breakers and struggling to communicate with people again. Some kids went from being super outgoing and now with the mask, struggling to have some normalcy in their social lives and just letting them know that we see them,” said Saavedra.
Saavedra says he serves kind of as a mentor to the kids and the goal is to keep them in the classroom and get them excited to learn.
Meetings with students can happen during lunch or out in the courtyard and include house visits.
Coordinators will track student’s attendance, and grades, find out where they are struggling and connect them with the resources they need. That maybe a tutor or a student may just need some motivation.
To students who are having a tough time, he encourages them to find the student success coordinator in their schools, speak to a teacher, or counselor who can help them get through the challenging times.
Some kids are adjusting to in-person learning after a year-long absence from the classroom.
Amari Williams and Camila Llamas are both in NWA middle schools and were completely virtual last year because their families felt it was the safest choice for them.
Well, they are back to in-person learning this year and shared more about their transition.
Williams is a sixth-grader in the Bentonville school district. She says she did well virtually because she had more time to focus on her studies but missed being with her friends.
Camila Llamas is a seventh-grader with the Springdale Public Schools. She says she is glad to be back in the classroom adding she found virtual school tough and says in person is a better learning style for her.
Both ladies say the toughest part of the transition was navigating their new schedules… but they are figuring out what works best for them.
“Understanding especially going from virtual to in person… Like the importance of your time because it is very limited now… So take notes in classes while in class,” said Williams.
“Really paying attention and making sure you talk to the teacher if you need help. Paying attention and writing good notes will make you get good grades in class,” said Llamas.
Both ladies are required to wear masks on campus, adding that didn’t take much adjusting to and they do feel safe at school.
Camila says she doesn’t mind wearing a face-covering because she knows that is what she has to do to keep herself, her classmates, and family safes.
Both the Springdale and Bentonville school districts have teachers and counselors available to students and families to address any challenges students make face being back in the classroom.