Theis losing HOPE this upcoming year but administrators are anything but worried.
The HOPE program, implemented two years ago as a way to provide academic reinforcement and minimize student pull out, is going to be modified for students this year, Superintendent Andrew Orefice announced this month.
HOPE stood for help, organize, prepare and enrich, he said
"We believe this change will be better for everyone involved," said Orefice of the revamped program that will allow for student test preparation, work on longterm projects, character education lessons and students to attend band practice or gifted and talented lessons without missing instructional time.
Instead of the 35-minute block at the end of each school day, the new academic reinforcement period will be condensed to twice a week, which will increase instructional time the other three days by 24 minutes, explained the middle school's new principal, Matt Howell, at the Aug 16 board of education meeting.
Howell said the goal for the modified period is three-fold:
- to provide optimal support for all learners;
- to meet new core content requirements;
- to engage learners.
"This will allow us to optimize existing staff and maximize learning time," said Orefice.
During an interview earlier this month, the superintendent said that the HOPE program lacked consistency. "It wasn't carried out at all grade levels in an organized fashion," said Orefice. "Kids need the same schedule all week."
For many students, the period became a good time to get their homework done, said Orefice. The new academic reinforcement "is not a study hall," he added. "There's no homework being done."