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Middletown educators team up for porch visits for students who are struggling with remote learning

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MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) – A team of educators in Middletown are receiving an “A+” for closing the achievement gap.

They’re keeping tabs on students who are struggling with remote learning.

It’s all about intervention and it’s paying off.

An army of Blue Dragon educators huddled at Middletown High School on Wednesday.

“We know that students who are successful their freshman year are more likely to graduate on time,” said Assistant Principal Dawn Brookes, Middletown High School.

The Connecticut RISE Network, a non-profit supporting education, also knows this. It recently published a report on hybrid and remote learning in our state.

“So, what the researched revealed is that students who have chosen to be remote are more likely to be disengaged than their peers who have chosen to either be hybrid or in-person,” said Nichelle Woodson, CT RISE Network.

The report also highlighted an initiative at Middletown High School, showing it’s possible for educators and families to course correct for disengaged students.

Early on in the pandemic, educators knew that struggling students needed to receive the same support they received at school, so a dedicated team brought those resources right to where students lived.

The team rolled out a few porch visits, which are thought of as home visits.

Through building rapports with families, educator pinpoint what student need to be successful and it’s working.

The high school offers hybrid and remote learning.

Tyrell Hyde decided to give in-person learning another try. He’s struggled with connectivity issues during remote learning and so much time away from face-to-face learning increased his anxiety.

“It’s good in a way so that he’ll be around more people, but it’s also nervous and scary at the same time,” said Rachel Getfield, Tyrell’s mom.

The team, some who are Hyde’s teachers, are there to alleviate concerns especially district health guidelines.

The school praises its team for being flexible and dedicated to serving their students.

“And doing that through a lens of equity. This is something nationwide that we know that we’re all struggling,” Brooks said.

While teams work with freshman students, they’ll share what’s working well with other teachers to adopt best practices.

Channel 3 reached out to the district to find out how many students are disengaged during remote learning, but they have not responded.