Recent school closures as a result of COVID-19 unearthed a gap in Erie Elementary Charter School’s ability to provide equal access to remote learning technologies for every student. In response to our school closing through the end of the school year, Erie has been diligently working to transition every program we offer to a remote learning curriculum in both English and Spanish to keep children engaged. This transition has put many students at risk of falling behind both academically and social-emotionally. Remote Learning is putting increasing pressure on our working parents especially families with multiple children who need support coordinating class schedules, and for those with devices sharing among their children makes distance learning a major challenge for many of our Erie families.
Many of our students lack access to computers or tablets at home, making distance learning a major challenge and threatening our ability to set all students on a path to higher education and resilient futures. Your contribution will put devices in the home of every Erie student so they can stay connected with their peers and teachers.
Our goal is to connect every student to their school community by distributing 415 school-issued Chromebooks--one to each student. $250 provides an Erie student an essential school-issued Chromebook -- we need 280 more Chromebooks to reach our goal!
Chromebooks will serve as so much more than just an educational device, they help our students stay connected to their friends, classmates, teachers, school community, and culture. Erie strives for consistency and maintaining traditions with school spirit days, morning meetings, and assemblies. We continue to focus on the dual language and social emotional learning and support of our students so they are equipped with the skills they need to succeed today and in their futures.
More Than a Basic Education
Erie provides students access to so much more than just a basic education, our Diverse Learners continue to receive one-on-one supports and therapies. Our remote learning includes gym and cultural arts programming including music classes and art activities that students can engage in from home. Teachers use screen sharing to work through math problems and students are creating math games to play with each other. Our students are learning science by conducting science experiments with household supplies and presenting their projects online to their peers. Teachers are supporting reading and language arts by providing reading and literacy engagement in a number of ways including journaling, video recordings of teachers and staff reading books aloud, virtual book clubs, and sending home learning packets with worksheets and books for students to read.
In total, Erie teachers provide a combined 427 hours of weekly distance-instruction across Kindergarten through 8th grades. As part of our remote learning plan we continue to provide a combined 21 hours a week of Speech tele-conferencing, 11 hours of tele-psychology services, 7 hours of tele-nursing care and 4 hours of tele-occupational therapies for students with disabilities. Erie Elementary Charter School continues to distribute 600 "grab and go" meals per week to our families and the local community.
Social Emotional Learning
At Erie we believe Social Emotional Learning is equally important as academic learning, and continues to be a priority in Remote Learning. Social Emotional Learning is imbedded into the Erie culture through Responsive Classroom and is supported by our Second Step curriculum. We have been rolling out weekly social emotional challenges where students and staff can strengthen these skills and share their experiences. Social Emotional Learning provides students with the skills needed to confront challenges through self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, personal safety, and responsible decision-making. These are the competencies students need to successfully confront challenges with emotional intelligence and skill. We believe that Social Emotional Learning provides the foundation our students need for success.
We continue to provide cultural and Spanish language instruction through Zoom and pre-recorded lessons. Our unique dual language programming is infused with Social Emotional Learning and cultural arts to connect to culture. A large body of research shows that dual language programs promote the development of executive function in young children, executive functioning predicts academic success, and academic success predicts long-term health and well-being. Dual language education also has valuable long-term lifestyle benefits such as the potential to connect to extended family, increased opportunity for employment in a global economy, facilitation of travel and broadening of social spheres, and enrichment from widened horizons from language, arts, and culture. Erie believes that dual language education is foundational to student long and short-term success.
Remote Summer Recovery Plan
Erie is dedicated to ensuring our students stay on track. We are developing a Remote Summer Recovery Plan to make sure we serve our highest need and highest risk students first. We will be providing continuing education all summer long, additional resources, cone-to-one support, and small group lessons. Our goal is to have every student at their respective grade level come September when on-campus classes resume. It is our responsibility to ensure high quality education to every student at every level.
Who We Serve
Erie is located in and serves the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago; a predominantly Latino and African American community where high rates of residents lack a high school diploma or equivalent. Approximately 87% of Erie’s 2019-2020 student body are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free and reduced lunch. Our school is 82% Latino, 14% African American, and 4% of students identify as multi-racial, Caucasian, or other/unknown ethnicity. Nearly half of our students, 45% tested and identified as English Language Learners and 26% receive special education services, almost double compared to average Chicago Public Schools.
Erie Elementary Charter School (Erie), founded in 2005 and located in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican neighborhood is a non-profit dual-language, Spanish and English, K-8 serving 420 low-income, at-risk, and minority students. Erie is built on the strong foundation of the Erie Neighborhood House (ENH), a nationally accredited child-care program and comprehensive social service agency that has served Chicago’s community for 150 years. Born from the Board of Directors of ENH, Erie embodies the vision of providing school choice for families where students can learn in a nurturing and caring environment and receive an excellent and culturally relevant education.
We provide educational options and opportunities to families to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty that results from lack of access to high quality education. Erie plants the seeds of higher education starting in Kindergarten with every student attending field trips to college and university institutions every year. Our teachers and staff provide a nurturing and enriching education to empower students and set them on a path to higher education and resilient futures. We host two on-site social workers, a team of resource service providers such as occupational therapists and speech pathologists, and a fantastic team of paraprofessionals for our Diverse Learners.
Erie's Mission and Vision
Erie fosters the habits of heart, mind and work. We build Spanish proficiency and open doors to multicultural competence. Our responsive environment and engaging curriculum empower, educate and elevate students to confidently enter a path of higher education and participate in a diverse global society. We empower students to cultivate character, connect to culture, pursue education, and contribute to their community in order to thrive in a diverse global society.
Erie creates a caring and collaborative community for all students, families, and staff in a variety of ways. We use a holistic approach to teaching called Responsive Classroom, instill the Habits of Heart, Mind and Work in our students, and explicitly teach social-emotional skills through the Second Step Curriculum. We ensure all students can thrive through our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and provide teachers with high quality training and professional development. Erie uses a rigorous, common-core aligned curriculum, and ensures there are multiple points of contact and relationship-building opportunities for parents, students, and staff year-round.