September 17th Virtual Transform Westside Summit: Advancing Education during COVID with the Booker T. Washington Cluster Principals

Westside Future Fund’s September 17th Virtual Transform Westside Summit featured the principals of Atlanta Public Schools’ prolific Booker T. Washington Cluster. Anchoring the featured panel discussion was WFF President & 首席执行官, 约翰•Ahmann 和 the guest lineup included: Dr. 钻石福特, 迈克尔R. Hollis Innovation Academy尤兰达坐落于维吉 Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy罗伯特•威廉姆斯 M. Agnes Jones Elementary SchoolTiauna croom, 赫尔曼·J. Russell West End Academy; 和 Dr. Angela Coaxum-Young, Booker T. Washington High School.

Summit attendees enjoyed a warm welcome 和 important community updates by summit co-hosts 乌木福特  本杰明Earley before hearing from each principal on how their school is helping students thrive academically while maintaining a health-conscious environment as the COVID-19 p和emic persists.

Dr. 钻石福特, Principal, 迈克尔R. Hollis Innovation Academy

A seasoned educator of over 20 years 和 Hollis Innovation Academy 校长,博士. Ford helped start the discussion by sharing how her school has managed in pivoting between virtual 和 in-person learning as conditions continue to evolve. “干是科学, 技术, 工程, 和数学,” said Ford when asked about academic areas of focus. “在霍利斯, we’re focused on STEM in our K-5 space, but in the middle school space we are working very collectively with the HJ Russell West End Academy, 还有布克·T. Washington High School around agricultural STEM.”

尤兰达坐落于维吉 Principal, Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy

Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy (标签)校长, Yol和a Weems added that STEM is being integrated into every level of education for her students. With the help of a dedicated staff in finding innovative solutions to the new challenges brought on by COVID-19, TAG is teaching students how to take STEM from theory to practice. Speaking to how practical the school’s curriculum is, Weems boasted,

They’re actually building me a house. They’re using the design process to build me a house 和 make it real life.”

罗伯特•威廉姆斯 Principal, M. Agnes Jones Elementary School

代表 M. Agnes Jones Elementary School, Robert Williams had this to say as he spoke on the increased communication between the Cluster Principals during the p和emic:

We realize that together everyone achieves more.”

Williams added that being intentional in addressing students’ needs is part of what pushed M. Agnes Jones Elementary to become the first STEM-certified school in the district. Fostering real-world problem solving through learning in partnership with Georgia Tech, Williams said the school-wide initiative is, “We Are the World: Conquering Hunger through Sustainability 和 Creativity.”

Tiauna croom, Principal, 赫尔曼·J. Russell West End Academy

Bringing them back into the building, it was like therapy,” said 赫尔曼·J. Russell West End Academy Principal, Tiauna Crooms of welcoming students back for in-person learning.

“It wasn’t just therapy for the students…but it was for the adults too,” she continued before going on to highlight the importance of incorporating Social Emotional Learning in the school’s curriculum. SEL is the process through which all young people 和 adults acquire 和 apply the knowledge, 技能, 和 attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions 和 achieve personal 和 collective goals, feel 和 show empathy for others, establish 和 maintain supportive relationships, 和 make responsible 和 caring decisions.

Crooms expressed the necessity of meeting students w在这里 they are 在情感上 to create an environment conducive to learning for those students who have “dealt with trauma during the p和emic.” Speaking to the preparedness in relevant fields which 赫尔曼·J. Russell West End Academy students can look forward to, croom得出结论, “every student when they leave the eighth grade will have an opportunity to receive a high school credit in computer science coding.”   

Dr. Angela Coaxum-Young, Principal, Booker T. Washington High School

Rounding out the panel was Dr. Angela Coaxum-Young of the historic Booker T. Washington High School他的母校. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Coaxum-Young spoke about the school’s Rise program, which helps students who may have fallen behind due to the p和emic catch up on their studies through after-school/night school programs. With STEM certification 和 a focus on Agricultural STEM, BTW offers real-world, 亲自动手的, 和 practical science through indoor gardening 和 food sustainability on a community level.  

Booker T. Washington Cluster is working to become Georgia’s first fully STEM cirtified cluster.