A new student-led program called Every Learner Counts has officially launched at Cottonwood High. Every Learner Counts is a peer-led mentoring program which principally focuses on distance learners in the fourth term of this school year, and hopefully will expand far beyond this year.
When Cottonwood’s Community Council got together earlier this year, counselor Teresa Olsen and board member Clarke Nelson asked themselves, “How can we get distance learners involved and connected with the school?” The council wanted to come up with a program to help distance learners feel more connected, involved, and supported.
They talked to the advisor of Latinos In Action, National Honor Society, Student Government and the Peer Leadership Class and asked those teachers for the top representatives. Jared Arroyo Ruiz, Luis Herrera, Cali Colton, Ashley Moreno Galvez, and Whitney Wagstaff have taken on the responsibility to put this plan into action.
This program is designed to help distance learners with accountability. Each distance learner is matched with a mentor who reaches out at least once a week with a personalized message. This can be: helping students find touring options, letting them know a teacher’s office hours for extra assistance, or even to send them a joke.
Mentors are paired with students their age or younger. These mentors also had to do distance learning at one point in time so they know how easy it is to feel uninvolved and a little disconnected. They hope to make students feel more motivated and involved in the school.