Madera Unified has developed a new custom tool called Milestones. The tool has been used to support teachers and support staff with ensuring every single student within the school district has their basic needs met during school closures.
With more than 20,000 students under Madera Unified’s care, the district felt it would be important to implement a program that would support staff with identifying students’ needs and coordinating appropriate services.
How the program works
Teachers conduct check-ins with their students at least once (but not limited to once) per week through a live conversation such as a telephone call or video conference. During the check-in’s, which are meant to be informal, teachers use the Milestones Student Care Check-In platform to ensure contact is made with every single student and that each student’s basic needs are met.
In instances where students require additional support, the milestones system generates a report which is used by support staff to coordinate the appropriate services to students based on their needs.
Check-ins are meant to assess whether students are safe, secure, and ready to learn. Many of the school district teachers have worried that the stability and connection they have provided have been diminished over the last several weeks and they wanted to help.
Since the “soft launch” of the program on April 20, Carsten Christiansen Principal of Berenda Elementary said that his school staff has been able to use the information they obtained from Milestones to be proactive in supporting the families that need a helping hand. He and his staff were able to deliver homework packets, Chromebooks, and 19 meal kits boxes this week to several school district families.
“We know these are tough times and just want to do what we can to help our students and the information helps us know the exact needs,” said Christiansen.