September 20, 2014

Homework interventions put SSC students on the spot

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted

STANDISH – Standish-Sterling Central High School is implementing a new homework intervention program to help struggling students catch up on homework and grasp key concepts.

“Teachers were concerned about the lack of homework (turned in) from students who are struggling,” said SSC Principal Roger Fritz. “We think this is one way to help students be successful.”

Fritz added that students who fall behind on homework also tend to struggle with important concepts and ideas in their classes.

The homework intervention is a five-step program, starting with a simple reminder from individual teachers to students to turn in late homework. If students do not get their work in, the second step is to have students attend a mandatory 20-minute “lunchtime recovery session” to make the work up under teacher supervision.

If the homework is still incomplete at the end of the recovery session, the third step for students is to attend a mandatory after-school makeup session, with the district providing transportation if needed.

Step four is an in-house suspension, and if that is unsuccessful, the fifth and final step is a meeting between the teacher, the principal, the student, and the student’s parents or guardians to discuss why the student is not completing their work.

The homework intervention program was implemented Nov. 28. Fritz said the program is one that has been used in other school districts nationwide successfully.

Fritz said a voluntary version of the lunchtime recovery session has been in place for the past two years, and students who have taken advantage of the sessions have been doing better in their studies. However, SSCS faculty wanted to take the existing program further.

All of the teachers at the school will participate in the homework program, rotating lunch and after-school duties. Individual teachers have discretion over which students get called up for interventions.

“The goal is to get to everyone,” Fritz said. “This is just one piece to get to one more and one more and one more (student).”

The homework program is part of a larger “intervention pyramid” the school has in place to help students better prepare for colleges and careers. Other aspects include special education programs, before- and after-school tutoring, and Title I learning assistance programs.

“We are taking every opportunity we can find to provide help,” Fritz said. “We’re looking for ways to help students be successful.”

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