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    In-Tandem Program: Helping Students Thrive
    Posted on 09/13/2019
    A student and teacher fist bump as a greeting at a school event

    In-Tandem Program: Helping Students Thrive

    One goal of the district’s new Strategic Plan, Seattle Excellence, is ensuring that students, particularly those furthest from educational justice, feel safe and welcome in school. It is crucial that students are provided the safety and comfort to learn within a classroom that is respectful of all backgrounds. For students to learn effectively, they must feel healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

    The In-Tandem program embodies these values while providing services to students who need a specialized learning environment. In-Tandem operates out of the Roxhill Elementary Annex and focuses on supporting students with social emotional needs, who also have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and receive special education services. The program, beginning its fourth year of operation, serves four classrooms of students in grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8. One of the classrooms is used as a ”learning lab” to provide an intentional focus on developing reading skills.

    Staff at In-Tandem are diverse, skilled, and committed. Teachers, specialists, and paraeducators reflect the racial and ethnic demographics of the students they serve, which helps adults build authentic and trusting relationships with the students.

    “It is important for our students to know the adults here are not going to give up on them, and that while staff have high expectations, they are also prepared to support students in meeting and exceeding those expectations,” says La Tanya Parker, administrator for the In-Tandem program. “Our students need to feel safe, academically successful, and like they can thrive - because they can and they do.”

    A line of student line up to get waffles Parker says one of the key values at In-Tandem is to “cultivate the goodness” in each student. That means that adult focus is on the students’ futures and making sure a student’s most recent behavior is not held against them. To practice this, every month a different student is awarded a certificate for growth in demonstrating the values of the program: safety, responsibility, and respect. At the ceremonies, students celebrate their peers, and staff and students share a special breakfast together. Waffles seem to be a crowd favorite.

    Seattle Public Schools strives to provide safe and welcoming learning environments for all students. The adults at In-Tandem work hard to build an inclusive culture and use practices to support their students unconditionally.

    Read more about IEPs (Individualized Education Program).

    Read more about Seattle Excellence, the district's strategic plan.