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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

South St. Paul has a plan to help students struggling with the classroom: send others home 1 day a week.

Starting this week, South St Paul’s High School students with above-average grades in any class can work online from home on Wednesdays.

Meanwhile, students with a C-minus or less should attend school for individualized learning tailored to the area or areas where they are struggling.

“Packer Plus: What I Need ‘Wednesday'” aims to further encourage good grades and help struggling learners quickly. School officials say the idea, which had a volunteer trial run late last year during the pandemic-induced distance learning, has support from district leaders and teachers. But many parents have voiced their concerns, the main concern being that students will drop out of the curriculum and be split between good and bad.

Although the school will give students without a C-minus or reduce the option to participate in in-person learning on Wednesday, parents Skip Longan question what they’ll do and do if they do. He has his own theory and has given his name for it: “Roaming the Streets Wednesday.”

“The matrix, the optics, everything about it tells me it’s a bad idea,” he said. “Not going to school on Wednesdays, that’s a 20 percent drop in individual learning right there. And even if you go to school, you’re not getting new instruction, new lesson plans.”

Chris Bakken, left rear, teaches English literature to South St. Paul secondary students in St. Paul, Minn. Friday, October 1, 2021. Secondary schools are implementing a new policy that allows students with above average grades to stay home and school online on Wednesdays. (Emily Urfer / Pioneer Press)

South St Paul’s High School principal Chuck Ochoki said he had heard concerns that Wednesday would be a day off, and some are valid, some not.

“No, every child has to work on Wednesdays,” he said. “The choice becomes, do I do this at school or do I do it at home? I get it, fully understand that what we’re trying to do hasn’t been done before. It doesn’t look like the school I attended as a freshman in 1986. It’s really different, and so we have to understand that part.”

How will this work?

The plan focuses on early intervention by giving teachers a system that helps students as soon as they start falling behind in classes, instead of waiting until the end of the quarter.

Ochoki said it would work like this:

After school on Monday, homeroom teachers will pull up grades to see where students stand. If they are getting less than a C grade, they will be told on Tuesday morning that they must come to school the next day. Parents will be informed via email.

Wednesdays will begin later for all students – at 9:30 a.m. instead of the usual 7:50 a.m. – so that teachers have time to collaborate and work together to improve students’ learning and achievement.

For students with average and above grades, their day will mostly be made up of enrichment work – no new lessons – even if they choose to do it.

“They’re going to dig really deep into topics that are interesting to them,” Ochoki said.

Students struggling in the classroom will have extra support at school to help them raise their grades.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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