Intervention Programs at HHS & RMS

Mandatory intervention programs at Hughson High, Ross intended to help students get back on track academically
Posted on 07/16/2021
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Professional educators across the country recognize that their students were impacted in many ways by the COVID pandemic. The isolation of distance learning and lack of face-to-face contact with their teachers as well as their friends was a real barrier for some. Even in the Hughson Unified School District – which returned some students part time to its campuses last fall months before other local districts – there is real concern that too many students still haven’t caught up to where they might have been academically had the pandemic not occurred.

To address that gap, the Hughson district will focus extra attention on all students in the upcoming year through a process called intervention. In this story, we will focus on the plans at Hughson High School and Ross Middle School; a separate story in the near future will discuss what will happen at Fox Road and Hughson elementary schools.

The high school and middle school both will carve out about 30 minutes from their normal class schedules by shortening their normal periods. At the high school, that “extra” period will occur at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, between second and third periods. At Ross, where it will be called “Bear Time” after the school mascot, it will be right after lunch on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The idea of intervention is to give students a chance to meet with teachers to go over assignments or tests they may have struggled with in regular class. For students who don’t need extra help on a given day, teachers will have enrichment activities for them that build upon lessons presented in class. Or, students can use the time to catch up on homework.

“It’s going to be a balance of reteaching and making up exams,” explained Ross Principal Mary La Rosa. “It will be a quick shot of time, but if we’re intentional with that time, it will be something our school never wants to get rid of. When you think about it over a year, that 30 minutes will really add up.”

 

High school Principal Loren Lighthall believes there definitely is a need for the focused attention. He said the number of students who were ineligible for sports or other extracurricular activities because they had received at least two F’s or had a grade-point average below 2.0 doubled last year to about 160. In addition, he said the number of counseling referrals for students with socio-emotional needs tripled during the pandemic. Many students clearly are struggling.

 

“I think there’s even more out there who just skated by. Even though they weren’t ineligible, they were close,” Lighthall said.

 

Of his 800 students, Lighthall estimated that at least a third will benefit from the ability to work even more closely with their teachers. The high school actually rolled out a similar program in the spring.

 

“We think it can make a difference for many of those students who are still behind academically,” he said.

 

At both campuses, a software program called Enriching Students will allow students to schedule themselves with specific teachers in classes where they need the most help. Conversely, teachers also can identify and request time with students who they know are struggling.

 

“This is going to take some time,” said La Rosa, whose campus has about 450 students. “I think it will work, but we have to be supportive of it. There’s an undeniable need for it. I think it will become invaluable and that it’s a win-win for students as well as staff.”

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