May 3, 2021

2021: Another New Beginning

Grade 4 Students with their Teacher
Grade 4 Students with their Teacher

Dear friends and partners,

May 2021 is already here! Hasn’t the first quarter of the year gone by so rapidly?

I trust you have been keeping well and healthy even as we battle COVID-19!

My apologies for having not updated you since November 2020.

We’ve had so much going on and would like to now share some of the things we have been doing and that you are a part of, in making a difference in the lives of children.

A quick reminder of our priority goals in the period beginning November 2020.

We had set out to make impact and investments in the following areas:-

Teachers were to trained on how to use Microsoft Teams to reach out to students who are still locked out of school

  1. Begin purchasing laptops to aid teachers prepare online lessons (currently we need 10 laptops and a PC Desktop, and reliable fast internet connection, a total cost of $3000)
  2. Train on accelerated learning strategies to be implemented with current school going classes and upcoming online classes for students who will report to school in January 2021.
  3. Engage parents on how they can access online learning for their children through the locally available options i.e. through partnerships with local cyber cafes, and telcos.

To keep everyone focused on the goals and not lose heart we had to raise the bar with regards to the support the students needed. Our class 8 were in the final term of their primary school years and had to be helped prepare to take the national tests.

This was not without its challenges as the long period of unstructured staying at home began to bite in school. Students’ indiscipline grew. Teacher’s morale also began to dip and this called for solutions to be found and found fast.

We developed an in-house teacher development module that would enable teachers understand more about how poverty and trauma affect children in school and to equip them with strategies they can use to teach these children. The training commenced in January 2021 is ongoing. One of the teacher’s commented and said, ‘’Certainly this training is timely and useful, given the situations we are handling in our classes.’’

A main motivation for this professional development was the fact that a survey done with the help of the teachers revealed that on average 80% of children in our classrooms are suffering the effects of poverty especially with regards to learning.

We realized that part of accelerated teaching would mean first mitigating for the negative effects brought onto the students by their family and home situations.

Teacher’s direct pay for the quarter up to January 2021 was $4130. This was however still short of the $5472 needed to cover all the teacher’s pay.

 

We are still hoping to find partners to assist the school develop ICT infrastructure and also build teachers’ capacity to use various IT resources and tools, both hardware and software to support children’s learning, going into May 2021.

 

I’d like to thank you for staying with us, for standing with the children and for building a better future for them and for us by extension. Let’s keep laboring together, for the work remains yet unfinished. 

Rainbow over the school
Rainbow over the school
Class of 2020
Class of 2020
May 3, 2021

Labours of Partnership

Construction to Add More Space
Construction to Add More Space

Dear friends and partners,

It was in November 2020 that we last had a report to share. A lot has happened at the school, as we work on completing building physical structures and a learning environment that will help learners learn in an ever changing environment. With COVID-19 forcing us to begin finding new ways of working and living, it has taken us time to adjust to some of the necessary changes that we had to make.

The school reopened on January 4th for 2nd term and 3rd term respectively. For the first time in Kenya, our school calendar saw us having two years in one. This was confusing for teachers, management, children and every stakeholder had to be constantly reminded on the differences.

The school’s improvement goals remained as had been previously reported in the November 2020 report, namely; -

  1. Pursue student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improve the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension
  4. Improve teacher capacity to improve curriculum delivery and raise achievement of students and close achievement gaps for students not meeting expectations.

 Though interactions had been minimized in the school system as we followed COVID-19 management we still managed to still prepare students for their final examinations.

 We were also able to complete $4129 of buildings and sanitation, which also helped to expand the class capacity of class 8 students. The amount represents 40% of all spending in quarter three.

 Our library that supports literacy was also made more accessible, close to 2000 titles/ books were read by students, from the borrowed books records while 40 had been borrowed by staff members.

 The school was able to hold one parent’s meeting where 63% of parents participated. This is great progress from the 47% figure of previous attendance for the same period when we started implementing the school improvement plan. As at 25th February 2021, parent to children ratio averaged 1:2.

 In March, Class 8 completed their National Examinations, with 21 students, 12 girls and 9 boys transitioning from Primary level to secondary level. The rest of May will see them being selected to either join secondary education or tertiary training schools.   

 Grade 4 also completed their school year and will be starting Grade 5 in July 2021. The school is in the process of acquiring resources for the new year and needs about $500 for textbooks for this cause as it’s a pioneer class in the new CBC (Competency Based Curriculum) system.

 A new term begins on Monday, 10th May 2021. We look forward to partnering together as we try to achieve the goals aforementioned

Part of the Almost Complete New Space-December 202
Part of the Almost Complete New Space-December 202
The Completed New Space- March 2021
The Completed New Space- March 2021
Transitioning Class 8- Post Final Exam- March 2021
Transitioning Class 8- Post Final Exam- March 2021
Nov 6, 2020

Children's Safety First

Reopening of Hope
Reopening of Hope

Dear friend/partner,

When the government announced an impending return to school, we set to prepare our learning environment to comply with the basic health protocols given by the Ministry of Health.

We have ensured we have the following: -

  1. Handheld infrared thermometers to screen students. We purchased one
  2. Sufficient sanitation, hand washing points and water storage tanks
  3. Sanitizers and soap
  4. Spacing within classrooms and staffrooms
  5. Nutrition and food safety
  6. Manning the point of entry/ recording health data for screened individuals
  7. Complete building of library and makerspace

The measures have been sufficient, allowing us to reopen school for 26 students, and 10 staff as we prepare for the rest who are expected to rejoin school in January 2021.

I take this opportunity to thank you our partners for enabling us meet the above-mentioned protocols thus ensuring our children are safe and protected, both within the school and outside of the school.

I look forward to our continued partnership to do more in terms of innovative interventions for to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 within schools, school systems and the home.

We celebrate you! 

 
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