Uplift Williams scholars help bridge math gap

While some scholars prefer to spend their summer away from school, a group of Uplift Williams rising seniors are taking the time to develop test prep material for incoming juniors.

Jose Deantes, Danielle Castro and Angel Soto were selected to take part in the first Student Instructional Leadership Team (S.I.L.T.) internship created by Netanya Evans Ph.D., English AP teacher and Mauricio Dominguez, director of Uplift Williams high school.

The internship combines Dominguez’s focus on connecting academics to student leadership and Evan’s focus to highlight scholars’ achievement in an effort to encourage their peers.

“These scholars have proven through their scores that they are in the 85 percentile or above which puts them at the top of the nation in terms of their academics and preparation,” said Evans.

The group of three are also using their experience as previous juniors to create the system to improve math scores for the PSAT. Deantes, Castro and Soto began their internship shadowing Evans in the classroom, learning to deliver instruction while the second week focused on building systems to meet target growth. The group will go through material from Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 &2, Geometry and Pre-Calculus to develop prep material to target areas where scholars have struggled.

“Juniors are going to be taking the PSAT in October and I know that I would have loved to have gotten this help last summer to prepare,” said Castro. The rising senior has hopes of becoming a teacher, and this internship has allowed her to create lesson plans and build her experience.

“We’re really making a change here. We’re making a difference; we want everyone to be able go to college,” said Castro, “but not only that, for them to be able to stay in college.”

Evans hopes the internship teaches rising seniors the impact they can make on their peers but also encourage rising juniors to  challenge themselves.

“We want the other scholars in the school to know that they have the ability to not only to be at the top of Uplift Williams but at the top of the nation,” said Evans.

The first implementation of the program will come from the worksheets the group has devised based of the deficits found in each course.

“When you have a worksheet for all the different courses to cover gaps it takes away from teacher’s work time,” said Evans.

During Saturday sessions S.I.L.T. will take a pre-test and determine areas where they are deficient in. The scholar will then be given a practice worksheet to go over the areas in which they are struggling. Following the practice worksheet the scholar will take a post test, in order to ensure all areas of deficiency are covered a chart will help keep track to indicate if they have mastered that skill.  Once the scholars have mastered the essential base foundation the scholars will move into a prep class.

The internship will last until August but the project will be ongoing. With the system the group creates, teachers will implement in the fall with the help of S.I.L.T.

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