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Celebrating Family Appreciation Week

Celebrating Family Appreciation Week

We are excited to celebrate ​The Children’s Guild Alliance’s first “Family Appreciation Week,” June 8-12, 2020 to thank our families for your role in providing distance learning to your child/ren during the sudden closure of schools due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Family Appreciation Week is designed to show our deepest appreciation for your continued partnership in your child/ren’s education.

Our families are our heroes in so many ways, and we value all of you. We have always known families play a vital role in the education of our students, as you love, nurture, protect, teach, provide for, and serve as role models for our students. Strong families, such as yours, provide much needed support and guidance to ensure our students succeed as leaners and members of a global community.

The Children’s Guild Alliance and our schools have always celebrated and honored our families as a key partner in your children’s education. Now, more than ever, families have stepped up, during a time when your child/en need you most. We want to recognize the incredible job our families have done, and the many sacrifices you have made, to ensure your children’s education continued in as meaningful a way as possible, during these truly unprecedented times.

Additionally, follow us on our social media channels with hashtag #FamilyAppreciationWeek2020, as we celebrate our families throughout the week through. You can share too on your social media using #FamilyAppreciationWeek2020.

We thank you for choosing one of our Children’s Guild Alliance schools as the school of choice which allows your children to excel and achieve.

We celebrate you for your vision to see, the courage to try, and the will to succeed. Together, we will create a brighter tomorrow for each our students, transforming the way America cares for and educates its youth.

With gratitude,
Kathy Lane
Chief of Educational Services

Our Message of Solidarity

Our Message of Solidarity

Dear Colleagues and Families,

The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd shouts that in America not everyone is free to walk the streets without being harassed or fearing for their lives. We abhor the hate-inspired speech and actions that treat some lives as disposable and regards acts of violence against the defenseless as routine and normal.

Today, the leadership of The Children’s Guild Alliance stands with our African American colleagues, students, families, and community in America to fight for the rights endowed to all Americans and to affirm their struggle for dignity and respect. We also stand against oppression and intolerance in any form.

The role of The Children’s Guild in fighting this injustice must be what it has always been, providing safe space for all children, their families, modeling zero-tolerance for hatred and bigotry in any form and to confronting it head-on within both our organization and the communities in which we serve. We will seek to live in such a way as to inspire our children to rise above the hatred and intolerance that is far too prevalent among us. We will continue to remove barriers to learning and provide resources for our children to succeed.

The Children’s Guild is more than an agency that provides education and behavioral health services to children and families and training to adults serving children; it has a responsibility to advocate for social justice and challenge the status quo when government bureaucracies establish systems, policies, and regulations that undermine the well-being and best interest of children.

Built into our mission is a process of adult and organizational transformation that teaches children the values and life skills necessary for a successful life. The values throughout our schools and programs emphasize living responsibly, serving causes larger than one’s self, contributing to one’s family and community and to stand up for what is right and just.

Our staff are caring and thoughtful people who live these values and understand that their first responsibility is to assure that The Children’s Guild and the schools and programs it operates is a welcoming place that emanates caring and respect for every child and their family. Visitors and families report that this caring radiates from the staff members, our physical environment, and our foster homes.

Let us renew our commitment to work for justice and racial reconciliation in our society so that what radiates from our employees will one day be experienced by all throughout our country.

Sincerely,

Andrew L. Ross
President & CEO
The Children’s Guild Alliance

The Children’s Guild Alliance Schools Achieves High Engagement in Distance Learning

The Children’s Guild Alliance Schools Achieves High Engagement in Distance Learning

While schools remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, The Children’s Guild Alliance schools in Maryland and Washington, D.C., continue to implement distance learning designed for students with disabilities, providing special education and related services and achieving 85% student engagement.

“Every day missed is a day you don’t get back, especially for our students with disabilities who need consistent, predictable structures and interventions,” said Kathy Lane, chief of educational services for The Children’s Guild Alliance. “We took action immediately following the school-closure announcements, reaching out to every student across our schools and providing them with Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots and the tools needed to continue their education while also ensuring they had access to meals.”

The Children’s Guild Alliance operates special education day schools in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, Monarch Academy  public charter and contract schools with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School.

Teachers reach students using online platforms including Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Google Meet as well as i-Ready online assessments and individualized instructional programming. Small groups of students connect with teachers and each other daily during morning meetings, lunch groups and multiple 20- to 30-minute instructional periods. They study English and the humanities in the morning and science, technology, engineering and math in the afternoon with a social-emotional wellness period in the middle of the day.

“We set a high expectation for ourselves and students right out of the gate.”

“We set a high expectation for ourselves and students right out of the gate,” Lane said. “Students benefit from a regular routine and continued learning, but we also haven’t lost sight of our greater mission of serving the whole child. We serve children with special needs and they require our best, now more than ever.”

The Children’s Guild Alliance provides teletherapy for families, including one-on-one coaching for parents. The schools have safely continued mental health counseling, behavior intervention for students, mental health, speech and occupational therapy and other services virtually without a reduction in services.

“We are committed to serving our families, pandemic or not, and have developed strong relationships with the parents and caretakers of our students,” Lane said. “Many sit down with their children during instructional time, which is one reason we have seen such high participation rates. Most of our students look forward to interacting with their educators and therapists online as they seek to connect with those who care for them and to provide some sense of normalcy in an unusual and dynamic environment.”

The Children’s Guild Alliance schools created continuity of learning plans for distance learning for students with disabilities with individual education plans (IEPs), which outline educational goals for each student. These individualized continuity of learning plans guide the establishment of learning schedules, virtual lessons and classroom websites, interactive videos, regular communication and staff feedback on student assignments and assessments.

“I’m so proud of what our teachers and students have accomplished under such challenging circumstances,” Lane said. “They’re responding well to distance learning, staying engaged and participating regularly. We’ve created a multitiered system of virtual support and personalized learning that puts kids first.”

Commemorating Juneteenth

Commemorating Juneteenth

A message from Andrew L. Ross, President and CEO, The Children’s Guild Alliance:

Today we commemorate Juneteenth, the day that slavery ended in the U.S. on June 19, 1865. As we paused to reflect on racial injustice and inequalities, Juneteenth reminds us there are many events and contributions by African Americans that were never taught in school.

In order to respond to this meme that has been as much a part of The Children’s Guild Alliance, as it has been part of our society, our educators, under the leadership of Kathy Lane, Chief of Educational Services, will be reviewing our curriculum to look for areas in which we need to add the “real complete” American History to it.

Over the summer, our instructional coaches will be attending a university course that teaches a comprehensive African American History. Our goal is to ensure our faculty have a complete set of the facts and embed them in our curriculum to make them available for our students this fall.

As an organization, this is one way we can make sure that the spirit and meaning of Juneteenth gets passed on to all children. There may be a long way to equality and justice, but it is important that we take this vital step, given it is readily in our power to do.