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Stepping OUT! Making a Difference!

Stepping OUT! Making a Difference!

August 26, 2020


When schools closed in March due to Covid-19, equity issues were highlighted, and our 6th grade Risdon team was determined to find strategies to support students who were unable to participate in virtual learning.

Sophia Simpson-Verger, 6th Grade School Counselor and Dr. Elaine Love, Assistant Principal decided to meet with these students and families at their home. Through weekly collaboration, teachers provided the names of students who were not engaged with learning opportunities and were not responsive to communication efforts. Each Thursday, Dr. Love and Sophia visited these very students. Each visit brought food, a card, and a safe space to share the individual challenges each family experienced. 

 

Dr. Love and her husband have been cooking and feeding people struggling with homelessness in King County for the past twenty years and are familiar with restaurants in the area who are also committed to serving those in need. This partnership allowed us to provide families with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and bread as well as nonperishable items. As the need grew and became apparent to the entire Risdon community, staff joined in the effort and donated food and gift cards on a regular basis. Due to the extent of donations, we were also able to deliver support to Communities in Schools of Renton, a partner of the Renton School District.

 

These visits provided the greatest insight into student and family needs. Students and families reported needing essential items, such as internet, books, interpretation services and food. Emotional and mental health needs were also shared. Individual plans were created for the duration of the school year as well as a promise to reconnect at the start of the 2020-2021 academic school year, to revisit the needs of the past spring. The parts of the conversation that were not confidential were shared with the student’s teacher team, so they too could provide support. After each visit, many of these students and families reported relief, knowing that the school would do what it could to offer its support.
 

When schools closed in March due to Covid-19, equity issues were highlighted, and our 6th grade Risdon team was determined to find strategies to support students who were unable to participate in virtual learning.

Sophia Simpson-Verger, 6th Grade School Counselor and Dr. Elaine Love, Assistant Principal decided to meet with these students and families at their home. Through weekly collaboration, teachers provided the names of students who were not engaged with learning opportunities and were not responsive to communication efforts. Each Thursday, Dr. Love and Sophia visited these very students. Each visit brought food, a card, and a safe space to share the individual challenges each family experienced.
 

 

Dr. Love and her husband have been cooking and feeding people struggling with homelessness in King County for the past twenty years and are familiar with restaurants in the area who are also committed to serving those in need. This partnership allowed us to provide families with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and bread as well as nonperishable items. As the need grew and became apparent to the entire Risdon community, staff joined in the effort and donated food and gift cards on a regular basis. Due to the extent of donations, we were also able to deliver support to Communities in Schools of Renton, a partner of the Renton School District.

 

These visits provided the greatest insight into student and family needs. Students and families reported needing essential items, such as internet, books, interpretation services and food. Emotional and mental health needs were also shared. Individual plans were created for the duration of the school year as well as a promise to reconnect at the start of the 2020-2021 academic school year, to revisit the needs of the past spring. The parts of the conversation that were not confidential were shared with the student’s teacher team, so they too could provide support. After each visit, many of these students and families reported relief, knowing that the school would do what it could to offer its support.

 

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