A new focus on helping struggling students includes taking more time in the school day to help them improve in reading and math.
Two middle schools in Battle Creek are addressing the ongoing problem of having student enter their schools two or three grade levels behind.
The principals of Springfield and Northwestern middle schools confirm that students enter their schools two to three grade levels behind in math and reading. “Currently we can gain a year’s worth of growth in the current schedule,” said Northwestern Principal Bernard Brown. “But if you’re at third-grade level as a sixth-grader and you get a year’s worth of growth, you just move to fourth grade. And that doesn’t do us any good for getting them up to their grade level.”
The plan is to implement a sixth grade academy at each school, where sixth graders who are struggling academically will be required to take intervention courses in place of some electives in English or math or both. “It’s not just more time with the same tools,” Brown said. “It’s more time with different tools.”