After a quick health check upon arrival at Calaveras Hills High School, an Extended School Year (ESY) student—one of a dozen whose family opted for in-person instruction over the summer—heads to the restroom to wash his hands before walking over to the classroom.
The ESY Hybrid Pilot Program, which enrolled 15 high school students (grades 9-12) this summer, began virtually on June 15, with the in-person component introduced on June 22. Students must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that qualifies for the Extended School Year Program to participate in the extended program.
“Especially for these students, the reason that they qualify for ESY in their IEPs is because they would show regression (with a gap in their education), so this is to help them maintain their progress towards their IEP goals,” said second-year ESY Principal Kristina Ravo, who is the first to welcome each student before conducting the health check.
During the first week, one student comes in once a week for a 45-minute, in-person instruction session—which is co-taught by a teacher and paraprofessional, with support from a Behavioral Interventionist, present to take data and provide support if necessary. As the pilot program continued with success through July 23, classes expanded to 75 minutes and then further with two students in class per session instead of one.
“We expand and roll out the program as we go,” Ravo said. “It’s neat to see it grow and the program definitely would not be as successful without the hard work of our in-person team.”
This year, Mr. DeGuzman led the virtual instruction and Mr. Stimson led the in-person 2:1 sessions with students in partnership with Mark Navarro (Paraprofessional) and Wesley Casco (BIT). For in-person instruction, each student has their own materials box that is only used by that student and not shared with others. Activities and lessons that are creatively planned to meet individual student IEP needs are done, such as cooking and various methods of academic practice. The virtual classroom includes contact information, Google Hangout Meet links, daily/weekly lesson plans with links to resources and materials, additional resources for parents to access, and how-to videos.
“All of our Special Education staff is amazing. Their dedication and passion for the students is awesome,” said Ravo. “I love working with the team and having a different interaction than I would during the school year.”