Good news has come from State Street Academy! Located in Bay City, they are expanding their charter into 9th grade and expect to fully expand into high school by the fall of 2025! Their goal is to provide a structure for graduating students to achieve success in college, career, and life.
Expanding from a K-8 school to high school curriculum is a major step. To achieve this goal, State Street Academy (SSA) is hiring additional staff, including: a Family Engagement Coordinator and a Community Outreach and Student Engagement Coordinator. SSA is also having two of their teachers go through instructor training so that they can offer drivers’ ed to their students. Teaching students to drive will help the students, foster children, and at-risk youth gain the skills to access transportation. According to Trenton Gonyaw, the Community Outreach and Student Engagement Coordinator for the school, “We are setting the bar even higher with the goal of graduating a well-rounded student who, in some instances, has been given up on at other schools.”
SSA has observed the unique hardships with learning at home, whether it be through technological issues with remote learning, or the fact that a difficult home life can impact student performance. The SSA Family Engagement Coordinator will be the liaison between families and the school, always on-call to help steer families to helpful resources. SSA is adamant that good relationships with parents and guardians are necessary for any school that wants to make a difference in the lives of their students. The trust to be gained is worth the extra time spent dedicated to these relationships.
Gonyaw adds, “The Family Engagement Coordinator works synonymous with the Community Outreach Coordinator with other tasks such as community meetings, event coordinating, grant preparation and submission, project and program development, measuring the effectiveness of our programming through tangible data, and so on.” A list of tasks for Gonyaw looks like this:
- Coordinate Community/SSA volunteer activities like community food distributions, fall/spring clean-up, spending time with senior citizens, assisting disabled veterans, helping abandoned animals, etc.
- Work-based programs that connect students to local businesses throughout and after high school. Not only does this help our students learn principles of finance, but also helps them think through career choices.
- Trades and apprenticeships which SSA does in partnership with the Michigan Trade Council. This avenue affords students to learn of the trades most needed in their area and with the coordinator’s help, students can pursue these career options.
SSA’s goal is for every student to have a plan of what to do after they graduate. Through these new positions, they are confident they will be able to fill in important gaps in after-school readiness.
Great job, State Street Academy!