GREENFIELD — Family Engagement Coordinator Sue Powers and Student Outreach Coordinator Chris Dillion are pleased to announce the successful hosting of Greater Commonwealth Virtual School’s in-person meet-ups.
The in-person meet-ups have been a staple of GCVS ever since Powers began working with the school nine years ago. The in-person meetings took a pause as a result of the pandemic, so this is the first year GCVS is resuming the program.
These in-person meet-ups give students the chance to get get to know each other and form relationships outside of their virtual classroom.
The meet-up activities vary and offer the students a different experience each time a meeting is held. Many of the meetings are an extension of the students’ curriculum, so students can connect what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world. This year alone, GCVS has organized a back-to-school picnic for returning students, a high school hike and a trip to a dairy farm, apple orchard and pumpkin patch.
These meetings are often organized by grade level but are other times a whole school activity. Location varies depending on the topic of the meet-up, and for some events, there are multiple location sites. GCVS tries to hold these meetings in different parts of the state so that families can attend the meeting that is most convenient for them. The majority of staff and students attend the meet-ups. For a single event, there could be several hundred participants across locations.
Families have expressed how thrilled they are that these meetings have resumed and how thankful they are that there is almost always at least one meet-up close to their home. Forming connections outside of the classroom is vital for students, and these events are an excellent way to facilitate opportunities for students to meet peers in their area and form connections with them.
“When students feel connected to their peers and the school’s staff, they feel like they are a valuable part of our community,” said Family Engagement Coordinator Sue Powers. “That is really our goal with these meet-ups — to remind students that they are the most important part of our school and that they are valued.”