Keeping watch over seniors

Dec. 19, 2002, midnight | By Rachel Yood | 19 years, 5 months ago

Program is desinged to help at-risk seniors graduate

Assistant Principal Linda Wanner initiated a new program called Senior Achievement Watch this year to help 65 at-risk seniors graduate on time.

Wanner began the program after receiving a list of 80 rising seniors with three or more failing grades on their record. After Wanner met with all of these struggling students and their families in August, 15 students withdrew from Blair because they had too few credits.

The program is intended to ensure that the students will maintain their focus and be able to graduate with their peers.

So far, Wanner said, the program has been successful. Twenty-two of the students involved received no ‘E's on their first-quarter report card, and ten are on the honor roll. Wanner recalled one student who cried when she received her first report card with no ‘E's.

But not every student can boast a success story. Seven students in the program received five or more ‘E's on their last report cards. Some of these students, Wanner fears, will have to withdraw from Blair.

The program's 65 students are evaluated weekly in their planbook by their teachers, who comment on attendance, work-study habits and assignment completion. Students must have a parent sign their planbook every weekend and are required to show Wanner the signatures each Monday morning.

Wanner tracks each student's weekly reports and follows up on any concerns. Students who fail to turn in a weekly report are assigned an in-school suspension. During these suspensions, students do their classwork. "It's like a study hall, a good
chance to catch up," said Wanner.

PTSA member Carol Lindeman comes to Blair every Monday morning to copy planbook pages to make the process work more quickly. She believes that the program is important. "It's helpful for some kids to have someone really watching what they're doing," she said.

Wanner has also held two motivational meetings for the students in the program. She believes all of these students are capable of completing high school if they apply themselves. "It is hard work and effort that eventually wins the day," she said.

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Rachel Yood. Rachel Yood is a junior in the Communication Arts Program at Blair. She is excited to join Silver Chips as a page editor, but suspicious of the time the newspaper seems to take from her primary activity: sleeping. When not working or curled up in … More »

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