Come January, students at Hamburg High School are going to find themselves scheduled for an additional class period.
The new period, Response to Intervention, won’t be as long as the other classes during the day, but will have the goal of helping students who have fallen behind catch up. For students who are doing well, the period will offer “extension activities” that re-enforce other things they are learning.
Assistant Principal Eddie Tucker presented the idea to the Hamburg School District board Monday night, telling them that the program is part of the HSD’s goal to provide all students with an environment that empowers them to succeed.
“Not just some students, not just the students who want to succeed, but all the students,” he said.
The RTI period will be between first and second blocks, and will last 25 minutes.
“Right now, we have extra time built into first block, so now some of that time is going to fund RTI time,” Tucker said. “We are also going to take five minutes out of the other blocks…It is going to balance out the blocks.”
RTI will work so that when a student needs extra help in a subject, they won’t have to be pulled from an active classroom and placed in intervention, he said.
“(Because) what is going on in the class when you’ve got them pulled out? Other teaching,” Tucker said. “So when Jimmy comes back in, he is still behind, he is still struggling.”
Teachers will be able to request students be placed in RTI, but students will also have the choice to request help as well, Tucker said.
“Something we have always faced here at the high school is, ‘How can I make a student come for tutoring?’ The teacher can assign tutoring to the student,” he said.
“There will be some tutoring of every department every day.”
The RTI period will also be available for students to catch up on work if they miss school because they are sick, he said.
The extension activities for students who do not need the intervention may include crafts, Zumba dance, cooking class, music lessons, photography, debate, or a personal finance class, among other things, Tucker said.
“What you won’t see (in this period) is dodgeball or basketball,” he said. “Lots of these activities are fun, but we want to make sure they are extensions of what they have gotten in the classroom.”
Tucker said the program was developed with input from school district employees, parents and students.
Superintendent Tracy Streeter said teachers have “jumped in head first” to get the program ready.
“I think it is good for the kids,” she said. “I am so excited about second semester at HHS.”