Student Engagement During Remote Learning
While we cannot gather in-person during remote learning, students at KLS continue to have multiple opportunities to engage with their interests and connect with one another via extracurricular activities.
Student-led clubs like the Leadership Team and the Yearbook Committee continue to connect with one another via video conference. Instead of planning in-person events, for instance, the Leadership Team collaborates to develop opportunities for students to connect with digital challenges and virtual discussion topics. In addition, KLS teachers and staff have been hosting virtual events for students, including sessions with our School Counselor and Director of SEL, Outer Wellness with our Director of Athletics, video community meetings, and regular community movie nights.
Additionally, students have been engaged with serving the needs of the local community by organizing COVID-19 relief efforts in their free time.
Summer Experiences & Internships
While most summer plans have been canceled or moved online, KLS students have reimagined and sought out creative ways to deepen their learning and pursue their passions. The following are some examples:
- NASA Virtual Internship - Sustainable World/Sustainable Future team
- Mental health resource website for teens project
- Data projections with Missouri State government for COVID-19
- Partnership with Instacart that uses algorithms to analyze the use of Instacart
- Collaboration with Stanford professor on the diversity of editorial boards of INFORMS journals
- Research paper on developing an algorithm to go through medical records to gather data
- Stanford Young Earth Investigators
- Students are enrolling in Foothill College Courses to get ahead or try something new (i.e. Biology, Film Studies, Graphic Design, Psychology)
- Tutoring students with SchoolhouseWorld and UpChieve
- Tutoring younger students in reading
- Finalizing content for Khan Academy multivariable course
Community Service/Volunteer Work:
- Creating a productivity/task management tool, a Smart Scheduler/Calendar for students
- Setup system for weekly delivery service and manual labor for elderly folks in neighborhood
The college admissions landscape has significantly and expeditiously changed. Our students have remained calm and flexible in their plans, as the college counseling program adapts to these changes. We constantly use backward design planning in college counseling. We apply this to college lists, summer plans, course preferences, and everything in between. Students thoughtfully prepare for plan A, B, and C. In light of COVID-19, we are forced to pivot our plans, and in some cases, we are now preparing for plan D, E, and F.
With summer plans, internships, standardized tests, and college tours canceled, we have adjusted our program to best support our students. Our rising seniors attend a weekly workshop with our Director of College Counseling to discuss the impacts of the latest admissions developments and workshop parts of their applications. Students also attend weekly one-on-one meetings with the Director to discuss their individual plans. Moving online has its downfalls, but it also poses opportunities. As more higher education institutions drop testing requirements and with so many extracurricular activities canceled or postponed, it is becoming harder to “quantify” an applicant in the admissions process. As a mastery-based school without letter grades, our students are uniquely poised to share their stories with admissions offices without a traditional GPA.