Recently, I've been sharing the work of Advancing Public Schools with leaders of school districts and nonprofits that serve children. During our conversations, I've been gleaning student support practices to share with the Public School community.
In our first newsletter, I have highlighted a few programs that are making a real difference in their communities.
- At Warsaw Community Schools in Warsaw, IN, administrators have ensured that all students in their rural community have access to the Internet.
- Girl Scouts of the USA have taken a keen interest in building the STEM skills of young girls.
Each month, I'll highlight programs like these to draw attention to the great work being done on behalf of students. Our team is working on your behalf to connect schools and community programs to each other to provide needed supports for our students.
Public education should be a public conversation - start a conversation with us below and share with us what you are doing in your school community.
Spotlight on Student Support:
Warsaw Community Schools (WCS) has been working to ensure that all students have access to the Internet.
Access to the Internet is essential to promote opportunities for research and collaboration with peers outside of school hours. 90% of the 7,000 students at WCS have access to high speed Internet access. However, that means that as many as 700 students do not have access to these critical educational opportunities. The district is pursuing several solutions to the problem.
First, the district has purchased some mobile hot spot units that can be checked out by students from the middle school and high school libraries. These units create a wifi bubble and connect the student to a filtered, cellular Internet connection, allowing them to complete their educational activities.
Next, the district has created a business partners program. These businesses will display signage to let students know that they can use their free wifi networks to complete their homework.
Finally, the district has expanded their own wifi networks beyond the school walls to create wifi bubbles of Internet access in their school parking lots.
Though these measures are helping to address the problem, the clear solution is continuing to develop high speed Internet infrastructure and service to our rural communities. Contact your state legislators to urge them to provide this support to your students and families.
Girl Scouts of the USA
Recently, Girl Scouts of the USA focused its attention on addressing the need for girls to have more exposure to STEM in the classroom.
Research shows that girls begin steering away from pursuing STEM at an early age. In an effort to engage more girls in STEM at an early age Girl Scouts collaborated with tech-related groups including Society of Women Engineers, Code.org, SciStarter, and GoldieBlox, to develop 23 new badge activities focusing on STEM and outdoor education.
The STEM-focused badge activities, in conjunction with the comprehensive Girl Scout Leadership Experience, provide a girls-only environment where they can feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure.
A recent survey, The Girl Scout Impact Study shows that Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to participate in STEM, earn better grades, aspire to graduate from college, and are more likely to seek a career in STEM.
Public schools can partner with Girl Scouts to provide meeting space for this after-school experience and help Girl Scouts invite girls to join. To learn more about opportunities with the Girl Scouts in your area, enter your zipcode on their Troop Finder page.