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Ely Chapman adds classrooms to program

Students at the Ely Chapman Education Foundation practice social distancing through outlined squares on the floor and kinetic learning. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Pulling your hair out with round two of at-home virtual learning?

“You see the posts on social media with parents joking that they need wine to get through another day of virtual school,” jested Alice Chapman, executive director of the Ely Chapman Education Foundation. “And you feel for them and for their children. Children need the structure and the social intercourse and expectations of school.”

But for students attending Marietta City Schools on the every-other-week rotation between cohorts one and two, or entirely virtually on cohort three, that structure while at home can pose a significant challenge.

So with approval in August by the foundation’s board of directors, two new classrooms have reopened at the supplemental and after-school education center for school-age students between first and fourth grades.

“It is by the week, or day, that a child is not in their regular school, they can be enrolled here and we have the structure and the teacher support so that they can continue learning,” said Chapman.

Development Director Gary Williams said the intent of the program is to help relieve the stress of parents.

“And to give parents a place that’s safe for their child to be,” added Chapman.

The new program, called Expanded SLS (S.U.N.S.H.I.N.E. Learning Station) is open to students in grades 1-5 who are currently in Cohort 1 or 2 attending the following Marietta City Schools:

¯ Harmar Elementary;

¯ Phillips Elementary;

¯ Putnam Elementary;

¯ Washington Elementary.

And according to Williams, the program was developed with the support of the Marietta City Schools administration as a complementary program.

The program follows the daily schedule and format of Marietta City Schools. Students attend the program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and are connected virtually with their school classroom, utilizing the tablets and workbooks/materials provided by the schools for the week.

“They get breakfast and lunch and structured tablet time, then workbook time that reinforces and enhances what they’re learning,” said Chapman. “And they get the playtime, to learn the social skills in the active ways, to practice raising their hands to speak, to retain that structure of being in school.”

A teacher is in the ESLS classroom at all times to provide help and to assist the children with logging in and the technology necessary to ensure that students complete their assignments as required.

The program can take up to 30 students per week from Marietta City Schools’ two part-time cohorts but must be coordinated between the parent and the foundation directly.

As of Thursday, Chapman said, the availability for Cohort 1 students remained at 21 of the 30 spots.

For Cohort 2, 28 out of the 30 available spots are still open.

The cost of the program is $15 daily or $50 weekly.

Financial assistance is available for qualifying families.

Parents/guardians interested in learning more about the program or wishing to enroll a child should contact Ely Chapman Education Foundation at 740-376-9533.

“And I tell my kids this is your job to go to school, and you have to learn how to behave in school because that will be the expectation in any job you’re in,” said Chapman.

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