ISS in the Learning Lab
Students in ISS spend their day in an existing classroom with rostered students in crisis. During first period, ISS Facilitator Virgilio Sklar assists students in the creation of a work contract in which they check Q, indicate which assignments they intend to complete during ISS, and communicate with their teachers in order to establish student accountability and respectful communication. During 5th period, Virgilio checks in with students, assess their progress, and provides any needed redirection.
ISS students are expected to work on their own assignments, while the learning lab teacher provides instruction to rostered students in a trauma informed environment. In addition to instruction in core subjects, ISS students will be exposed to PE, social emotional skills, career preparation, indoor recreation during lunch, video and music related to heros, and occasional treats. ISS students are expected to turn in their own work. It is very helpful when teachers send work for students, as this minimizes the chance that idle students will disrupt instruction and learning for transitional students.
The Learning Lab is funded through a federal grant for Neglected and Delinquent students who are between schools, residences, and other placements. For 20 + years, the Learning Lab provided instruction exclusively for students at the Shirley Ann Miller Attention Home but was expanded three years ago to include students from other youth homes, MCPS students in need of respite and Sentinel students in Refocus/ISS .