The flexibility of RAS Program Solves Pandemic Woes

In this highlighted success story, the joint team of Milestone C and STEMI partnered to help a school, who in the midst of a pandemic, was required to make significant shifts to the delivery of course material.

Philadelphia, PA
About organisation
Imhotep charter school

Imhotep charter school has the unique mission of “African-centered education that emphasizes STEM subjects”.  High student academic achievement is the primary goal of Imhotep Institute.  The underlying philosophy is that a rigorous, integrative, constructivist curriculum, combined with the historical and cultural richness of our African heritage, will result in well-rounded and productive citizens.

COVID-19 Strikes Schools Causing Disruption to Traditional Ways of Teaching

Every sector of our lives has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of the most significantly impacted sectors is education, as the in-person student-teacher dynamic has been the foundation of learning within our classrooms.   Schools were left scrambling to adapt in-class materials for remote learning while meeting learning objectives and maintaining student engagement.

Confronted with nearly insurmountable economic and time constraints, even the most seasoned educators from the most elite schools in the nation struggled to make the transition.   School leadership frantically searched for remote-friendly programs that could be easily implemented by their educators and staff.

Imhotep Charter School is one such school that was faced with these challenges.  With a remote learning plan in place, the school leadership had the challenging task of balancing their mission and budget, using solutions that are offered by EdTech companies.  Confident yet cautious the school set out to fill the gaps left by the pandemic.  However, even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The Perfect Fit for the Perfect Storm

While seeking out new programs, Imhotep Charter School came across the RAS program offered by the Milestone C / STEMI team. After numerous engaging and collaborative exchanges, decision-makers learned of the benefits offered by the RAS program that specifically spoke to the needs of the school:

  • Comprehensive PL for teachers
  • A full complement of teaching resources
  • Career-connected curriculum focus
  • Remote learning capable
  • Engaging and 21st-century relevant material

After joining our education network, teachers participated in a structured professional learning sequence.  When the fall semester came about, the program easily adapted into their school mission due to its modular and project-based approach.  Imhotep teachers used the technical aspects of the curriculum (knowledge, scaffolding, and project structure) and then adapted the narrative of the projects to meet their unique school mission.  Success!

However, with every success story, there are challenges along the way.   As if the struggles of the pandemic were not enough, the school had a turnover of staff requiring the retraining of new talent for the course.   Milestone C answered their call and held accelerated customized PL sessions to ensure the new educators were fully prepared.   Not entirely out of the woods, the Imhotep crew encountered another trial.  With the school year quickly approaching, due to the pandemic circumstances the decision was made to be fully remote learning with the students.  This meant that the original classroom set of robots, designed for interactive student group use, could not be shared among teams.  In response, the Milestone C / STEMI team expedited additional robots to school to support one-to-one, student-robot learning; and provided guidance on how to deliver the course in the modified learning paradigm.

A Successful Semester of Satisfied Students

Despite the numerous hurdles encountered over the span of the pandemic, the collective efforts of Imhotep, Milestone C, and STEMI ensured that the students received an engaging and enriching experience aligned with the school’s mission.   In addition, new partnerships have been forged fostering an optimistic and charismatic outlook for future collaborative endeavors.

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