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Connect with LEE now offers daytime assistance, as well as after school hours

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Sep 15, 2021

Students now have the ability to access Connect with LEE during daytime hours through Zoom to receive assistance with homework or school assignments when they are home sick or on quarantine.

“We are excited to increase the reach of this initiative from the Curriculum and Instruction Department,” said Dr. Bethany Quisenberry, director of Curriculum for Elementary Schools, in a prepared statement. “Both the daytime and afternoon sessions provide a live, certified teacher for all kindergarten through 12th grade students, in all subjects, so they can reach their highest personal potential.”

District spokesperson Rob Spicker said in the first two days of the daytime hours for Connect with LEE, 14 students accessed the support. He said interest is growing as word gets out about the newly offered support, which began on Sept. 7.

The new hours are from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for elementary school students; 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for middle school students and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for high school students Monday through Friday when school is in session.

“It allows us to be flexible with online support,” Community Engagement Coordinator Adam Molloy said, adding that it is includes a little bit of the soul of Lee Home Connect.

Molloy is among administrative staff that are subject area certified and is giving his time for two hours, two sessions a week. He said it was open to district administrators that have their subject area teaching certificates.

Molloy provides assistance in social studies, as he is certified in that subject area for students in sixth to 12th grade.

To access assistance, students click on the Connect with LEE icon on their launchpad, or through the district’s website leeschools.net. He said it then provides the student with access to the grade level and subject areas they need assistance with.

“This is an expansion with the Connect with LEE after hours last spring. They are familiar with how to access it through their Launchpad,” Molloy said.

High school and middle school Connect with LEE offers support in such core subject areas as math, algebra, geometry, biology, environmental science and social students. With elementary school it is divided into kindergarten through second grade, all subjects and then English Language Arts and Math for third through fifth grade.

“I thought this was a cool opportunity to reconnect with the classroom at the context level,” Molloy said.

Connect with LEE after school support began last year as a way to help students. As of Wednesday, Sept. 8, 183 students had logged on.

The after school hours are Monday through Thursday on days schools are in session from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. for elementary school students, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for middle school students and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. for high school students.

Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. Elementary School teacher Jeanette Walsh got involved with Connect with LEE last year to help support the students.

“I wanted to get involved with it again this year. The kids get on. Sometimes the parents get on, too. I help with math and science for fourth grade this year,” she said.

As a teacher she puts her name down for a specific time slot and creates a Zoom link, which stays open for two hours. When a student signs in, she lets them in and works with them one-on-one. The length of time she is able to spend with each depends on the number of children waiting for assistance in the Zoom waiting room.

The majority of the help Walsh provides is with homework.

“My last example was with a little girl. She was working on problems assigned for her math homework,” she said.

The student showed the homework assignment to the camera, allowing Walsh to see what kind of assistance she needed. From there, she is able to create a white board in Zoom that she can interact with the student by writing on the white board.

“It provides a white screen. As I share the screen with the children, they can see me use different shapes, drawings and numbers,” Walsh said. “The more versed you are in that (Zoom), the more the engagement you get with the kiddos.”

After the sessions are over the students always say thank you. Walsh said they feel supported and always ask when she is going to be on Connect with LEE again.

“I always just naturally ask them if they are comfortable. If I have other students in the waiting room, they are allowed to log back in and cycle back through. There is no limit to how many times they can come back for help,” she said.

Walsh said she enjoys doing Connect with LEE because she gets to see the success with the students.

“They are very appreciative for any of the help they can get,” she said of the students. “Last year kids were at work with their parents and logged in at their parents office after school. It allows access no matter where they are at. It’s all about supporting the kids and letting them have success.”

Walsh said Connect with LEE is a great resource and they are there ready to provide support to students.