Advocate encourages finding ways to reconnect vulnerable students with school community

Now that state leaders have provided school districts a set framework to follow, advocates for education and equity are pulling for the community to find solutions for families that face greater barriers.

“I’m not just advocating for my own kid. I’m advocating for kids,” said Molly Mitchell, Director for Student Support Programs at Seattle Central College.

Mitchell is the co-vice president of the Seattle Council PTSA, and said currently a group is focused on outreach to the most vulnerable students including those in the foster care system and ones who are experiencing homelessness.

“We’re really going to have to think about ways to engage and connect with our students who may have gone missing,” said Mitchell. “The extracurricular and sports was really a way for students to have a community connection, to have a space to share with others that they’re excited about and interested in.”

On Wednesday, Governor Jay Inslee and Superintendent Chris Reykdal of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction highly recommended canceling sports and extracurricular activities in areas that are at high or moderate risk for Covid-19.

“You’ve got to get your case numbers down and then you’ve got to have a slow return back,” said Reykdal.

Mitchell said instead, it’ll be up to the community to get creative and find ways to provide other safe avenues for youth to find connection.

“I think right now students are really in need of community support and connection and we can reimagine what education even is… What is it that we’re even fighting to get back to? I would like to see us as a community, not just what our individual kid needs, but what our community needs,” said Mitchell.

Q13 News will continue following stories about education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Feel free to email Jennifer Lee with your thoughts and how your family is being impacted.