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March 7, 2021

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Vancouver Public Schools details in-person academic help for students

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Vancouver Public Schools has detailed its plan for bringing select students into school buildings for in-person academic assistance as soon as Jan. 7.

The district has identified 953 students — 520 elementary, 301 high school and 132 middle school students — for in-person academic pods to help navigate remote learning. That number represents 4.4 percent of the district’s total enrollment, said district spokeswoman Pat Nuzzo. The district also has recalled 85 paraeducators and 152 classified staff, Nuzzo said, in anticipation of upcoming in-building academic services.

The district’s academic plan focuses on English language learners, students experiencing homelessness and students deemed academically at risk.

District officials shared at Tuesday’s school board workshop how students will be paired with a classified staff member who will oversee students in a small-group setting. Staff will work with students in pods of four to assist them with navigation of remote learning in an in-person setting.

“We believe it’s a needed level of support for our students at this time,” said McLoughlin Middle School principal Travis Boeh, one of the presenters at Tuesday’s workshop, “and we’re excited to reach out and get some kids some more help right now.”

Pods are similar to the current kindergarten A/B pods the district has had in place since Nov. 16. Schools will start with 10 pods with possible expansion.

“Our hope is to start small,” said Bobbi Geenty, principal of Marshall Elementary School, “and grow as we’re able to.”

Jim Gray, the district’s director of teaching and learning, outlined further data Tuesday from the secondary level and how intervention plans will assist students at all buildings. The district forecasts high school seniors who are English language learners, special education students, students experiencing homelessness and students receiving free/reduced meals to have increased failure rates at the end of the semester, which concludes Jan. 28. The largest jump is projected to be among English language learners.

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