Narrator: 21st Century Continuing Learning Centers
in the Dysart Unified School District provide students with opportunities
before and after school to increase academic performance and develop work
and life skills in a more engaging and personal environment Susan Lawler: We invite
students who may be struggling with academics. We invite students who need
extra help on assignments and homework, and then students that just have an
excitement for learning that love to be at school. They come into our program and they get some one-on-one teacher-student help and assistance in an environment
that’s safe and comfortable for them Narrator: Throughout the week students are tutored on core content areas with qualified teachers. Students get more one-on-one
assistance because of the smaller group sizes and develop a stronger
relationship with the teachers. Susan: And in those classes teachers will go over common lessons or content standards that are taught within the classrooms during
the day time. They’ll individualize it for students
who need maybe extra help or mastering certain standards, and so the individual
is that kind of lessons for those kids. They use a lot of small group work,
individual group for kids, and different activities that were they can use on the
computer or in small circuit stations. Narrator: Students also get the opportunity to engage in core content through personalized, hands-on tools and
resources such as makerspaces and genius hour that complement what they are
learning in the classroom. Talia: Genius Hour we basically find one question, like find a question, and then we research the question, and then we have a project. Like we can either make a poster or a slideshow that deals with the answers a question.
In the makerspace room we have different source of technology like we have
zSpace, the Spiros, the Makey Makey. Susan: We’ve also incorporated a keyboarding class for our kids. We found that teaching those younger kids just those of basic
keyboarding skills really translates into the classroom not only you know
during you know regular assignments but also helps with our testing because
everything’s computer-based right now. Narrator: The 21st Century Continuing Learning Centers also provide enrichment opportunities for students. This allows
students to learn foundational life and work skills in a fun, hands-on atmosphere
that translates directly back to their core classes. It can look different at
every school. At Luke Elementary School they call it FAST. Katy: F is for fitness. A is
for arts and crafts. S is for science and T is for technology. Fitness and arts and
crafts we use team-building skills and social communication skills and then in
science and technology we have problem solving skills and decision-making
skills that we learn. Lupe: A lot of our students think that you know it’s a fun activities but they also realize that it’s an integration with the 21st
Century skills, so I definitely think in essence those skills definitely come
together to help build that global leader that we’re trying to have our
students become as they go into older grades in in the future. Narrator: Family engagement is also a vital component of the program. Classes are offered to
parents that explain what and how students are being taught so parents can
better help with homework. The program also holds parent engagement activities
to help families become more involved in their students education. Lupe: And basically what that does for our families it allows them to come and participate
within our schools and our students are able to highlight the academic and
enrichment components that they are receiving within the program. Narrator: Students with consistent attendance in the program have shown increased grades
and improved behavior helping to narrow the achievement gap and provide an
environment for students to succeed. Susan: I hope that they leave our program with confidence. I hope they leave our program feeling more comfortable and finding a
passion or an excitement for school that they didn’t have before. I think a lot of
kids when they are not as successful within the classroom during the day it
takes away that fun at school, and I think what we’re able to give them
here in our program is those tools to help them be confident and help them
find that fun in learning again. It is a wonderful program, and it’s safe, it
provides a positive environment for our kids where they can feel comfortable and
they can just really thrive on what we have for them and help them to be more
successful within the classroom.