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Tips and tools for beginners and experts alike.

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Trying to keep up with every message or channel can test your focus. A few tweaks here and there can bring order to your Slack universe, and help you get work done.

Tips for keeping up in Slack Get organized: Have a strategy: Get notified (or don't!): Bring your noteworthy items to the forefront

Star channels, messages, and files to mark them as important. For channels you’ve joined and need to check frequently, starring them will move them to the top of your channel list. To make follow-up a breeze, star messages and files to list them neatly in one place — simply click the star icon in the top-right corner to view.

💡 Learn how to star items in Slack .

Customize and focus your Channel List

While Slack is all about transparency, you likely don’t need to see every channel in your sidebar to get your best work done. For busy workspaces, we recommend viewing only channels that you frequently visit or those that have regular activity.

Here’s how to tailor your sidebar to fit your needs:

Preferences Sidebar Sidebar Settings Use Slack'sbuilt-in tools

Working in Slack is exciting: so much to see and share! But reading everything your teammates post in Slack can get overwhelming. Once your sidebar is ship-shape, you can use these tools to keep up with the latest conversations in Slack.

Activity

Check your activity to see if you need to follow up with someone. It’s easy to do: click the Activity icon to see any recent mentions and reactions added to your messages.

Activity icon All Unreads

There’s no need to scour every channel all day when you can view all your unread messages in one place. You can even prioritize your unread messages —either alphabetically, by newest or oldest activity, or by how you use Slack.

💡 Find out more about viewing all your unread messages .

All Threads

Catch up on the threads you follow, reply to conversations that need your input, or simply feel at ease knowing all your on-going conversations are organized.

💡 Learn how to Modal Scarf Favorite Flowers by VIDA VIDA 3zJB6MKM
in Slack.

Put your notifications to work

Keeping up can feel like a challenge; let your notifications do some of the work for you. Not all activity in Slack needs your immediate attention — that’s why you get to decide if and when you get notified. Slack offers a few ways to help you focus prioritize your attention.

Student Voices

What I would do with more money for California schools

This essay is part of a collaboration between and USC Annenberg’s Reporter Corps , which trains young adults from diverse and under-represented neighborhoods to report on their own communities. Students from Alhambra, California — a predominantly immigrant Los Angeles suburb — wrote about how they’d spend a new influx of funding for the state’s schools.

Ezra Broadus, an African-American Alhambra resident from a low-income family, is another student who, like myself, probably wouldn’t have aimed for high education without the program. Broadus was part of AVID for six years at Northrup Elementary and Alhambra High Schools. Because of AVID, Broadus graduated with a 3.4 GPA and now attends the University of La Verne.

“The AVID program gave me the opportunity to strive for college. Most of the middle academic students are forgotten, just go along with the school system, and don’t really worry about their lives after high school,” Broadus says. “The AVID program really helps these students prepare for school after high school and their careers for the rest of their lives.”

School officials say that while AVID was cut, the tenets of the program remain at the district. The AVID program was replaced at Alhambra High School with the Moors College Preparatory Program (MCPP), a class run by former AVID teachers. AVID was also replaced at the other two high schools in the Alhambra Unified School District, San Gabriel and Mark Keppel, although the replacement program (Horizons) at Mark Keppel was recently cut .

Arwendo Tendean, an Alhambra High senior, joined MCPP last spring. He is well fitted for AVID: he will be the first to go to college in his family. Like many other students, Arwendo had no one to ask about the college application process. Some of Arwendo’s friends were in the MCPP program, and referred him to the MCPP teacher so that he could be placed in the program and get the help he was searching for.

“After I joined MCPP, I saw that there were more colleges I could apply to because Mr. Sanchez brought in speakers from different colleges to talk to us about their schools,” Tendean says of MCPP instructor Jose Sanchez. “As of today I have applied to 11 schools thanks to the college awareness I got through MCPP.”

Nevertheless, though MCPP offers some college readiness workshops, peer tutoring, and academic support, the teachers say it’s not the same without the AVID funding. AVID costs around $80,000 per school for three years, which covers 120 students, according the AVID program’s contract for school districts. As of today, MCPP has no additional funding from the district, therefore it lacks the money to function properly and provide the students with college field trips, tutors, and college prep materials.

There is less accountability and management from the district, according to MCPP instructors. Dorothy Burkhart, former AVID teacher of 10 years, said that the replacement program for AVID does not require schools in the district to work together or to evaluate the program and report their progress, unlike AVID which required reported results on a regular basis.

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