I Partner with Treehouse for School Success: Jennifer Bendix

By Jennifer Bendix, Teacher and Treehouse Partner

I have been a high school special education teacher at Juanita High School in the Lake Washington School District for the past 7 years and absolutely love it! Each day brings a new adventure with my students in their learning. My students are my daily inspiration due to their kindness for each other, their sense of humor, and their willingness to learn new topics. Their daily good mornings or afternoons brighten my day.

High School Students

One of the challenges that I face on a daily basis, however, is students being absent from school, which slows or prevents them from making academic progress towards their long term goals. Consistent attendance is especially a problem for my students in foster care who are often facing so many other challenges in their home lives that school is not a priority.

I have recently been working closely with Treehouse Education Specialist Jamie Burns to try and help improve attendance for one of my students that is in foster care. We set short and long-term goals with the student and try to offer as many avenues of support as possible for our student to reach those goals. This year, the student’s academic goal is attending class and earning all 6.0 credits. Jamie and I are in weekly communication in person or via email to support this goal. During meetings, Jamie and I both offer a reward system for regular attendance. While the student has run into some major detours meeting their goals this year, our student is successfully attending school most afternoons and earning credit for the classes they are attending which is a big win. Our next step is to help this student work with the truancy court system to support attendance for a full day of school, helping this student get one step closer to their academic goals for the year.

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About the Author

As a special education teacher at Juanita High School for the past seven years, Jennifer Bendix is committed to helping all of her students, including students in foster care, experience school success. In her spare time, she is an avid world traveler with her husband and is always looking for her next adventure.

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