SEL Awardee

Karla Gandiaga

ARISE High School
Oakland, CA
“AcMentors is a program that addresses issues impacting three distinct stakeholder groups requiring SEL support beyond what ARISE has offered in the past. 1. Students: For current students, problems related to learning loss during mandated distance learning, and feelings of isolation and disconnection from social circles that have historically grounded their mental health were fractured during distance learning. AcMentors represent an additional trusted adult in our students' academic lives. Research has shown that when students have 'supportive relationships' with their teachers and other instructional personnel, they are more motivated, take control of their own learning, and increase their academic outcomes. AcMentors provide lesson guidance, check students' understanding, and hold them accountable to their classwork. 2. Teachers: In addition to carrying the burden of pandemic-related trauma in their own lives, they are also expected to ameliorate the academic declines their students experienced during distance learning. AcMentors' support in the classroom gives teachers more bandwidth to ensure students are learning and reduces teacher burnout. An ARISE art teacher reflected that she is working 15 hours less each week because of the AcMentor's support. 3. AcMentors: Recent alumni, especially those from schools with high populations of students of color and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, face their own set of challenges as they enter higher education and the workforce. AcMentors means that young people are staying in their community, giving back, and earning a living, and developing transferable skills needed for any profession: teamwork, attending to detail, remaining calm in ever-changing situations.”
Tags: District, ELs, High School, Traditional Public School, Urban