Summit Learning

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Teachers are at the heart of Summit Learning classrooms, and mentoring is an essential part of the Summit Learning experience. Recently, four students from Bear Lake High School spoke with staff at Gradient Learning, which oversees the Summit Learning program, recounting their positive experiences with their mentors.

Both the high school and middle school in Montpelier use Summit, and without a doubt, the teachers involved agree that the mentoring component is their favorite part of the program.

Dr. Priscilla Chan is one of the founders of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) that is using technology to improve education.

Last week after learning about the great things the four BLHS students had to say about their mentors, Dr. Chan sent a letter to high school principal Luke Kelsey thanking him and the high school teachers for working so hard, especially this past year, to provide a safe environment for the students. Her letter is below.

More than a year of pandemic learning has been incredibly demanding for students and teachers, and as you know as an educator, it’s been challenging for students who rely on in-person school time as their primary source of social interaction and peer support. At Bear Lake High School, pandemic trauma was compounded in unimaginable ways last year as your students and your entire school community faced additional tragedies that claimed student lives.

Given this year of unthinkable hardship, I was moved and inspired to hear that students at Bear Lake High School feel such confidence and optimism for the future, and gratitude to you, their teachers, for making them feel seen, heard, supported and cared for in a difficult time.

Your work and your dedication to your community remind us how important teachers are in students’ lives: the environment of trust and belonging that you create for students at Bear Lake High School is helping to prepare students to enter adulthood with the knowledge, skills, habits, and agency they need to realize their full potential.

Thank you for supporting your students and inspiring us all. I am holding your resilient community in my thoughts. I hope you are able to find time this month to reflect on what you have accomplished this past year in the face of great challenges, to reconnect with what brought you to teaching in the first place, and to take some time for yourself to support your own well-being.

With appreciation for all you do,


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