Expanded Learning Time and College Readiness on the Lt Governor’s Agenda
On April 16, 2014, Colorado Lt Governor, Joe Garcia, visited West Generation Academy (WGA). His goal was to learn more about the Generation Schools Model through visiting classrooms and meeting students and teachers at West Generation Academy.
The Lt. Governor shared from his own experiences of being a college student at CU Boulder, working his way through college and feeling the need to be more academically prepared. This was an important message for WGA students, many who will be the first in their families to attend college.
During his tour, he visited Jenny Sullivan’s 6th grade Humanities class. He commented that he was amazed at how Jenny was differentiating the lesson by having students engaged in multiple types of instruction all at the same time. Humanities and Math courses are organized around a rotational blended learning model.
The Lt. Governor also visited Kate Jankousky’s 8th grade Advocacy group. Advocacy groups meet for 45 minutes each day and are made up of 8-12 students led by a faculty or staff member. During Advocacy time, students learn life skills and set personal goals. Time is also set aside to address individual student personal and academic concerns in a stable and supportive environment. Kate got the Lt. Governor involved in the “daily greeting and check-in” on how he was feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. He remarked that he was glad that students were rating themselves pretty high that day. He also enjoyed a birthday cookie that Kate had baked for her class to celebrate her day.
His last classroom visit was to Ben Sattler’s Clean Energy & Fuel Intensive Course. 10th grade students were in the final stages of building a solar cell phone charger. The energy project has spanned all year beginning with needs identification, project research, product design and is now in build stage. The solar cell phone charger will be available to the student body next year in the courtyard in order to address a pressing need – not enough plugs available in school to charge student phones. The Lt . Governor shared that when we was at CU at one point he was on academic probation because he did not arrive at school college-ready. He encouraged students by affirming that WGA students have many college readiness opportunities from 6th – 12th grades and that these experiences will benefit them greatly both in college and career.
Generation Schools Network’s goal is to transform public education by helping schools and districts to implement some or our entire innovative and scalable model. We are thrilled that state leaders are interested in learning more and are beginning to take note of the Generation Schools Model’s potential to change outcomes for students, especially those most underserved by our current system.