Sitting In the Principal’s Office

An important part of the work we do at ITEC focuses on how we can do what we do better. In an effort to make our programs more engaging, effective and generally more awesome, we like to sit down with instructors, students and principals to hear firsthand how we are doing. We recently sat down to talk with staff at two of our partner locations – Wexford Montessori Academy and Mt. Hope STEAM Academy – about how our programs are working for them. You can read both interviews below.

 

Wexford Montessori

Since ITEC’s start in 2008, we have always strived to be a part of the fabric of Lansing’s community. That’s why we started taking our programs to Lansing-area elementary schools. Wexford Montessori Magnet School is one of the institutions ITEC has formed a strong partnership with over the past few years.

Since September of 2014, Wexford has hosted our 2020 Girls and iMath programs for students to participate in after school. Our goal was to demonstrably improve student attitudes and skill level in math and science, particularly for students behind in those areas. Not only did we achieve that goal, but we also gave students a whole new outlook on potential careers, particularly those in 2020 Girls.

Talking about the 2020 Girls students, Wexford Montessori instructor Jocelyn Randall said, “Sometimes these ladies have been geared toward doing one thing; when you grow up, you’re going to be a teacher or you’re going to be a nurse. But you find out that some of these girls are interested in engineering, graphic design, and technology. ITEC programs helped teach them how math and science work with these things.”

Another Wexford instructor, Cindy Provo, spoke about how iMath provided a positive outlet for kids who just wanted something to do after school. “It was a very positive thing for students,” said Cindy, “it [iMath] came in with all the needed support.”

Cindy also touched on the importance of transportation. “Every year we have these kids who want to stay and do things after school, but they can’t, because they can’t get that ride home. ITEC has set up a very level playing field in that regard.”

An operation like iMath has many moving parts and requires the cooperation of a lot of people. But Wexford Montessori Principal Nancy Lubeski voiced how well she believed ITEC staff integrated into Wexford’s community. “Collaboration was the key. All of the staff from ITEC worked well with us. It wasn’t ‘you do this,’ it was ‘what can we do, how can I do this, let’s work it out.’”

She added, “I don’t want this program to last a year or so and then it’s gone.”

Not to worry Nancy. ITEC is here to stay.

 

 

 

Mt. Hope STEAM

After meeting with the faculty at Wexford Montessori Magnet School, in our never-ending quest for self-improvement, we sat down with Elizabeth Jones, principal at Mt. Hope STEAM Academy. We asked for her thoughts on how ITEC’s programs have affected Mt. Hope students, and what’s next for our partnership.

ITEC and Mt. Hope STEAM Academy have been working hand in hand since early 2014. By integrating our 2020 girls and iMath programs into their after school activity options, Mt. Hope has given us a great opportunity to engage with their students.

Elizabeth, Liz for short, emphasized multiple times that ITEC provided more than academic benefits for students. “One of the things I enjoy about having ITEC here is the relationships students build with the MSU tutors and program directors,” she said, “It gives our students young role models and a different perspective than the teachers they interact with every day.”

Liz also spoke fondly of the assurance students gained in their mathematics abilities after participating in iMath. “Students that participated in the program gained much more confidence in their ability to do mathematics. They were more willing to persevere through tough spots. The program also closed gaps that they had academically.”

With TechTransport, the ITEC bus, set to launch later this year, she hopes to incorporate ITEC’s newest learning platform into Mt.Hope’s after school curriculum “I was thinking maybe we could bring the bus in on Saturdays, or maybe even some evenings during the week,” she said. “The ITEC bus will fit right in to what we are trying to get our students excited about. Let’s hope we can make that happen!”

 

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