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PCSS’ Sam Brooks Awarded For “Tackling The Education Gap”

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
PCSS’ Sam Brooks Awarded For “Tackling The Education Gap”

Putnam County Schools Personal Learning Supervisor Sam Brooks honored by a national non-profit for his work to “Tackle the Education Gap.”

Brooks said the opportunity to do so came through a partnership with Shmoop Heartbeat, a tool that helps address student social and emotional needs through a survey tool. Brooks said it was the first time he had seen this type of program offered at the classroom level.

“You know giving the teacher or in our case a labs facilitator in our Future Ready program, the opportunity to have some knowledge about what they’re dealing with,” Brooks said. “You know at home, or in their life, or whatever might be getting in the way of them being productive students while they’re at school.”

Brooks said the tool received positive feedback from the programs where it was tested. He said teachers were able to learn factors that impact students’ ability to learn they never had been able to before because students could communicate it in a new way.

“A facilitator that a certain student had their head down in the morning when they came in and that’s generally not allowed, and when they went through this process with Heartbeat, they found the student had been taking care of their siblings while their parents worked all night long, and they were responsible for their siblings, one was a two-year-old,” Brooks said. “So the child what they had to do at home to take care of their family and really was not interested in what we had for them that morning because getting an opportunity to rest was just more important.”

Brooks said winning this award is a testament to the efforts the district puts forth to do everything it can to help students succeed. He said the tool was so successful during its pilot program last year, that the district wants to explore how to expand its services.


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