Since students returned to the classroom post Covid-19 pandemic, the Ingham County School District has been working to meet the needs of students.
Jason Mellema, who serves as the Ingham County School District Superintendent, said getting students reengaged with learning routines has been important, as well as recognizing unique supports that may be required due to challenging circumstances, such as staff or student illness.
Mellema said they also have been focusing their work to keep students and staff safe such as enhanced cleaning schedules, regular testing opportunities, and personal protective equipment.
Students have also showed signs of positive engagement since returning to the classrooms.
“Students continue to be excited about in-person, hands-on learning experiences more so than when we had to operate in a virtual environment,” Mellema said.
Mellema wants to keep this positive trend of improving learning district wide.
“We have continued to be focused on helping students be successful and achieve regardless of the learning environment, and our student growth scores reflect that commitment,” Mellema said.
Another way the district has been able to help students express themselves is through clubs such as Health Occupations of America (HOSA).
Jamie Engel, who serves as the Executive Director for the Ingham County School District, explained what H.O.S.A. is
“ H.O.S.A. is a great opportunity for students to utilize the skills they have learned and gain additional leadership skills through the process. HOSA is one of many Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) that are approved for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in Michigan,” Engel said.
Engel also said that students in H.O.S.A gain experience for any future careers.
“In all a CTSO experience, including HOSA, helps student continue to improve their learning over time and gain experiences that aid in the skills learning as well as leadership opportunities including social skills that will aid in future employment opportunities for students after graduation from High School,” Engel said.
H.O.S.A has also given students the experience of traveling to compete and test their skills at the national level.
“In many of our programs students have the opportunity to compete through a CTSO, each of them have regional competitions, state and national competitions. These opportunities not only allow students to compete and continue their skills/leadership learning, but also allow them opportunities of traveling in and out of state and meeting new people whom they may have not been able to before,” Engel said.
Engel explained how school clubs in the Ingham County School District have been able to expand to all students.
“This current year we have 165 students within our Health programs at Wilson Talent Center. Next year we will be adding an additional section and currently have 209 students enrolled to start at the beginning of the 23-24 school year,” Engel said.