Can schools achieve perfect attendance in distance learning?

Wendi Quintos, McKinley Elementary School Site Coordinator in Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD), would do anything to make sure her students stay on top of their schoolwork. Wendi has been a Site Coordinator in our San Bernardino region for several years, and everyone who knows her knows exactly how much work she puts in to foster a community her students thrive in no matter if in-person or online.

Wendi says, “I want students to know we are here for them, that they matter, they’re heard, and someone cares for them. That they can be anything they want in life and to never limit their dreams. They are the reason I come to work, day in, day out. They motivate me to be the best version of myself so that I can be the leader they need.”

Think Together’s San Bernardino region has been solely providing programming via distance learning since March 2020. Many schools statewide experienced the challenges of connecting with students and making sure no one falls in-between the cracks. At first, this was a challenging new territory for all. However, Wendi says that “seeing kids show up each and every day pushed us to evolve, think on our toes, and see this as an opportunity to grow as educators and as leaders.”

Communities that Think Together serves have been some that have been hit hardest by the impacts of the pandemic; facing technological divides, resource limitations and financial insecurities. One of the greatest challenges has been to make sure students and families are provided for, learning, and most importantly, healthy.

McKinley Elementary School is a mid-sized school with the highest enrollment in comparison to any other schools in the district for the last five years. While statewide the news has reported attendance rates for schools to be far below average, McKinley has remained at 100% attendance. So, what’s the secret?

Wendi takes Think Together’s mission statement “partnering with schools to change the odds for kids” to the next level. She believes the secret is creating an inviting space and positive classroom culture while also building a strong rapport with school admin, teachers, parents and especially the students. Wendi participated in Orenda Education meetings and training to better understand the needs of her students and her role in helping them. With all of this, Wendi has built trust and every student knows she has their back. 

“I’m really glad that Wendi is our Think Together Lead at our site, and I’m grateful for her willingness to step up and collaborate and meet our school goals,” says McKinley’s Principal Judith Servin. 

One way Think Together and McKinley have partnered together during distance learning is by running a Math Intervention program for grades 2-6. Working closely with school-day faculty allows for a strong support system that families are in need of more than ever, and a safe space that students are eager and excited to come back to each and every day.

Think Together is proud to provide our school and district partners like McKinley Elementary and CJUSD with quality and adaptive programming that meets the needs of both the students and our stakeholders.