HOLA’s Best: Increasing Our Capacity to Serve
Every year, Bridges Middle School and SmartStart Elementary staff have to make the tough decision of selecting students to participate in the regular 4-day per week programming. Unfortunately, this also means having to turn students away due to lack of space. In an attempt to remedy that, we’ve decided to try something new this year with a pilot extension program called HOLA’s Best.
After reviewing applications and accepting students for the main programming, we then selected an additional number of students, to participate in HOLA’s Best. This smaller group of students perform well academically yet would still benefit from participating in HOLA programming. The difference for these students is that they only come 2 days a week and at a later time of day than regular programming. We’ve found that these students arrive to HOLA fresh and excited to jump into programming and join their classmates.
- Support from teachers
- Inclusion in all programming activities, such as field-trips and special events
- Enrollment for academic learning centers (in which there is greater capacity)
- Small group tutoring on Fridays
- Accountability of HOLA’s core values.
Another advantage of being an HOLA’s Best student, is that if and when a full-time spot opens up in regular HOLA programming throughout the year, an HOLA’s Best student has the possibility of taking that spot. HOLA’s Best serves as a waiting pool for families who are truly seeking full-time HOLA enrollment for their child.
As an HOLA’s Best parent, he or she is required to attend all parent meetings and workshops, comply with attendance policies, and communicate with teachers and directors. HOLA’s Best families are important to the HOLA culture and family.
Bridges and SmartStart staff are looking forward to the new school year and the ability to serve more students from the community. The fact that students and parents are willing to commit, even only for two days out of the week, demonstrates the needs and dedication they have for HOLA.