COVID-19 Update: A Message from TAF Executive Director
April 24, 2020
Dear TAF Supporters,
I hope this email finds you and your family safe and healthy. We are all experiencing great personal and professional challenges that have disrupted our sense of normalcy. However, as we all adapt during our fight against the spread of COVID-19, we at TAF are encouraged in knowing that our community is strong.
Our four Superintendent partners are doing everything in their power to continue learning for students through high-quality remote-learning, and the Deans of Education at our ten partner universities are committed to ensuring our pre-service teachers are being prepared for education now and what it will be in the future. Lastly, our core TAF team has proven their resiliency by quickly responding to the changes in education — for teachers, administrators, and students.
We are adapting to continue serving our community during this time by:
- Increasing Focus on Social-Emotional Health:
We’re ensuring our School Transformation and Martinez Fellowship teachers have space to process school closures and the rise of remote learning by offering self-care strategies and identifying resources to help. We’re also hosting mental and physical health experts to work with our TAF team.
- Connecting with Students and Teachers:
TAF Transformation Coaches continue to meet with teachers, Program Managers with students to deliver resources that can carry everyone through the end of the school year.
- Delivering Remote Professional Development:
TAF Transformation Coaches are producing webinars on self-care strategies, group roles for meaningful collaboration, EdTech tools, and more. They are also working with teachers to help transition practices towards remote learning centered on project-based, inquiry-based, and exploratory learning through the lens of equity. Meanwhile, virtual seminars will allow our Martinez Fellows to stay on-track in receiving early-career coaching and development.
- Providing Critical Senior Support:
TAF@Saghalie seniors and juniors are now receiving weekly College and Career Readiness video conference counseling from TAF Program Managers who are helping students apply for college, scholarships, internships, and how to navigate the road toward graduation.
- Continuing and Expanding Current Programs:
For students, we are offering virtual career-connected learning opportunities through webinars and virtual meetings with industry professionals. The Martinez Fellowship is currently conducting remote interviews and plans to induct 40 new Fellows in August. TAF teams will offer a new summer academy at Washington Middle School for incoming 6th-graders and are working to identify new school partners to reach more students.
The current disruption of education is teaching all of us a lesson about the inequities of our public education system — much of what we already knew. Being forward-thinking people, our team is exploring how this moment in history can lead us to reimagine what school should and could be in the future. We’re optimistic that things will soon change for the better.
As you can see, we have not stopped working at TAF, we’re just working differently. We are able to do all of this because you support our work. Thank you!
I wish you and your family the best of health,
Trish Millines Dziko
Co-founder and Executive Director, TAF
P.S. Many of our students are finding ways to make an impact. If you have a moment, please read this blog post about high school junior Daniel Chung who has been a student at TAF Academy since 6th grade.
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