Legacy’s partnership with Seneca began when Green Dot toured some of our Bay Area programs back in January of this year. During those tours, Green Dot became especially interested in Seneca’s culture and climate partnerships and the role of the UE Coach. Through a grant from LAUSD’s SELPA, we were able to place a UE Coach at Legacy this school year, Jeraniqua Martin, whose focus is to help develop the new school’s systems for coordination of services and school culture and climate improvements. In addition to Jeraniqua’s role, the grant also funds a series of trainings for Green Dot’s network-wide team of twenty-five school psychologists (led by our very own Sonya Benavides) on best practices for COST and MTSS implementation.
At Ánimo Legacy, our partnership this year has focused on building on the school’s existing strengths and systems of support. Among its many strengths, Legacy’s team has built incredibly strong connections with families and the community, with an admin team that strongly prioritizes family involvement in their students’ education. Many teachers have also been with their respective schools since their founding in 2011, which resulted in strong—but different—cultures having developed on each campus. These differences in school cultures have provided something of a challenge as the schools merged, as staff (and families) across both schools had grown accustomed to their own norms, practices, and ways of being. To help support this transition, our work has focused on two priority areas this year. First, Jeraniqua is participating on Legacy’s School Culture Team, whose aim is to build unity and cohesion among staff, students, and families. Second, Jeraniqua is leading Legacy’s new Student Support and Progress Team (SSPT)—our local version of COST—to help develop collaborative systems of support for students, staff, and teachers.
Even as these structures continue to take shape, Jeraniqua has wasted no time building relationships across the Legacy community. Only two months into the school year, she has already built quite a following on campus—whether it’s students reaching out in need of someone to talk to, a teacher asking for support with a student or intervention, or a member of the School Culture Team asking for advice about Niqua’s experience leading PBIS, SART, or MTSS initiatives at her previous schools. We are only excited to find more ways to roll these supports out campus-wide as the year continues!