FEDERAL COVID RELIEF COULD MAKE INDIANA SCHOOLS BETTER (BUT ONLY FOR A FEW YEARS)
Original Story By Dylan Peers McCoy – WFYI News Education Desk
On September 13, WFYI News aired a story investigating the impacts of temporary federal funding made available to schools to help combat the impacts of COVID-19 on student learning and development. For her report, Dylan Peers McCoy spent a late August morning at Victory College Prep and interviewed VCP Executive Director Ryan Gall and members of the VCP faculty.
McCoy’s story centered on VCP’s unique strategy for investing its federal stimulus dollars – hiring 18 new teachers and support staff. The VCP decision to invest in people, as opposed to one-time capital improvements like the ones being made by most schools statewide, is allowing a new co-teaching model to take hold in its classrooms across all grade levels.
Middle school math teacher Rahul Joyti explained the positive impact of the co-teaching model in the WFI broadcast, “We can help students fix their mistakes really, really quickly,” Joyti said. “It will take a lot of time to get them caught up [after the learning loss caused by the pandemic], but I think that feedback can help.”
Executive Director Ryan Gall told McCoy that the investment in staffing was the right choice for VCP students, “I believe that I can make a significant impact on student learning and student outcomes for three consecutive years,” Gall said. “If I do that, I’m going to change the whole trajectory of my school.”
VCP’s inspirational approach to the stimulus gained a lot of traction on social media, where the WFYI story was commented on or shared by more than a dozen influential accounts, including The Mind Trust, Teach for America Indianapolis, and The Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation.