Student/Partner Alliance has responded to the needs of our students and their families in a number of ways:
We immediately raised funds to create an Emergency Fund to assist our families who were suffering increased financial duress due to Covid. A number of our students’ parents became sick or lost their jobs as a result of Covid. We provided increased funding to help with outstanding tuition bills for the 2019/2020 school year and we increased our tuition assistance for the 2020/2021 school year by $1,200 for each student.
Staff started working virtually mid-March and the Board and Staff have been working together virtually and very effectively through Zoom.
We altered our usual student application process to take into consideration that we couldn’t meet in person to talk with our applicants. Instead, we worked closely with the Admissions Departments of all of the schools where we support students. We were able to admit a large new class of 55 students and they started virtually or with hybrid programs in September.
We are also trying to help our graduating seniors through this extremely difficult transition to college this year by extending the time our mentors support their students through the end of this year. We have engaged two consultants to help us guide our mentors to help their graduated seniors hoping that this will ultimately result in higher college graduation rates.
The 2020-2021 school year began with some of our partner high schools working all virtually and others offering a hybrid of in-person learning. We are currently supporting 182 students at 10 different schools. We have held our fall orientations and mentor trainings virtually along with a college planning and financial aid webinar for our Juniors and Seniors and another program for our Freshmen to help them navigate virtual learning.
We are confident that we can continue our mentoring program virtually and we are also ready to adjust our plans, as necessary. The two consultants working with us are familiar with our program and have helped us to transition to virtual mentoring for our students. Moreover, our close relationships with our partner schools allow us to plan for various and changing scenarios, if needed.