We Have All Been In This Together: Stepping Up for Our Graduating Gateway Students

How are our Gateway seniors tracking towards graduation with all that is happening? What are our teachers, counselors and instructional support staff learning from 2020 and its massive reality shift? What have our students endured trying to keep up with their learning in an online, locked down world? Since it’s been 12 months since COVID arrived, we asked our Gateway team to tell us how they’re tackling all this and more.

1. What’s been the most surprising aspect of asynchronous learning for Gateway’s teachers and staff?

A surprising aspect has been how much we were able to maintain our normal class schedule. We continued to offer live class sessions at the same time. For students who could no longer attend classes at the usual times, we were able support their progress by continuing their courses asynchronously.

2. How has Gateway adapted in the 12 months since COVID arrived?

Our team adapted quickly to offering a high level of support remotely. We worked to provide students with the same levels of support they were used to, during whatever hours needed. We did the best job possible in converting our school into an online community.

3. Gateway students, and high school students everywhere, have been through the wringer. What are Gateway students overcoming to keep up with high school?

Our students managed a whole lot during the pandemic, facing great challenges like:

  • family and friends contracting COVID
  • sheltering at home in crowded conditions
  • unreliable internet access or limited access to a computer to engage in online learning
  • struggling to stay motivated and engaged with online classes
  • working more hours to help support their families
  • assisting younger siblings online school programs
  • dealing with the social emotional toll of the pandemic on our larger community

4. How is the Gateway team using their creativity to bring energy and enthusiasm into a difficult time?

The team did a fantastic job in stepping up for GCCA students.

First, we jumped right in to transitioning the school from a largely in-person program to a fully virtual school.

Second, we went above and beyond by not just setting up online independent study but committing to having as much live instruction and support offered to our students as ever before.

Third, our Gateway team stayed committed to connecting with our students and working very long days to ensure students had the best possible online experience.

5. How do you keep graduating seniors so engaged?

Our Gateway students’ determination and motivation is a crucial component, alongside a willingness to ask for help.

We identify all of our seniors early in the school year and start tracking their progress to make sure they are staying on track to graduate. Led and coordinated by our Lead Counselor, this close, connected focus and tracking, enables individualized support to our seniors who are so very near the finish line.

Our Gateway counselors, teachers and instructional support staff worked extra hard to provide support to students  — including those who could only work on their classes during off hours. Thanks to this flexibility and dedication to our Gateway students, our students — especially our seniors —  remain engaged and moving toward graduation and college transition.

We thank our students and our staff deeply.  Your efforts and motivation are inspiring us all, as we look ahead to life’s “new normal” in 2021! And remember, you belong here. Tell a friend — Gateway is enrolling now.

About Gateway: 

Gateway College and Career Academy (formerly Gateway to College) is an early college public high school launched in 2004, as an answer to the growing number of students who were disconnected from their education and not on track to obtain their high school diplomas. Our highly qualified teaching and counseling staff supports and guides our students on their educational pathways, establishing a bond of trust and the motivation to make it to the finish line.

Riverside City College is an ideal partner, helping our students transition to college education via concurrent enrollment in GCCA and RCC, and giving access to all of the college’s resources and supports. You belong here!