COVID-19: DDC redoubles its commitment to comprehensive student support
We have two key priorities in this time of unprecedented crisis. First, keeping our student healthy and safe while continuing to provide them with the necessary resources to remain on track with their learning, college preparation, and social-emotional wellness. Second, to increase our support of families and alumni in college and assist them in coping with current circumstances.
On March 23, we put in place these alternative education strategies to meet our goals:
- We transitioned all our programs - college prep and academic enrichment classes, college advising, mentoring and tutoring sessions - to remote learning platforms and we adjusted their format so that they are as effective online as they are in the classroom. We also expanded our tutorial schedule to offer students more flexible opportunities to access those services. Our counselors, College Success mentors, tutors and instructors are online every day, offering the same high-quality programming that has empowered generations of DDC students to reach their greatest potential and successfully go to, through and beyond college.
- Our Healthy Minds & Bodies (HMB) team has launched Stress Less and other Zoom coaching sessions to promote students and families’ physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition, the team has compiled an electronic compendium of resources to distribute to students and families. They include the HMB hotline that lets them access our social worker and/or interns whenever they need support. We remain in constant contact with our students and families so that we can understand and respond to their evolving needs as much as possible.
- DDC alumni who are in college can now participate in our newly launched College Persistence class via Zoom for targeted support. They can also access our HMB activities, especially the Stress Less sessions; and our tutorial sessions, including our one-to-one writing conferences.
We made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the DDC Graduation and Senior events that were scheduled for the week of May 11. We are working on an alternative plan to honor the dedication and achievements of DDC Class of 2020.
In the midst of this tragedy, our students still give us reasons to rejoice: Our seniors’ achievements have been brilliant! They are starting to receive acceptance letters from the colleges and universities of their dreams, and we are proud to announce that, as of April, they have been admitted to Barnard College, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Princeton University, U.S. Naval Academy, Vassar College, and West Point, to name a few!
We will overcome this challenge! And in the meantime we continue to prepare our students so that when they are back in the classroom they will already be several steps closer to college!
To all our friends, families, and visitors, please continue to be safe and well. You remain in our thoughts.