In the brief time Rick Jorgenson has served as RVHS principal, he has had many parents ask him the same question: What can be done to help their struggling child?
Jorgenson’s first response is to encourage them to consistently check Skyward to see how they are doing in each of their classes and to keep in contact with their teachers.
He also encourages students who are behind to come in and get help.
“For a lot of students this helps,” said Jorgenson.
Yet, he added, there are some students who need even more help or perhaps a different perspective to help them get on the right track.
In an effort to help those students, RVHS is going to implement a student tutoring program he is calling the student help center.
Jorgenson made the proposal to the Redwood Area Board of Education at its Nov. 26 board meeting.
The student help center would be modeled after similar concepts at the college level where students come in for help from their peers who have demonstrated they grasp the concepts others are struggling to understand.
Students who would serve as tutors would be members of the junior and senior class who are on pace to graduate in four years, have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and have received the recommendations of three of their teachers.
Jorgenson told the board there would be five tutors, with one of them serving as a help center program manager. The program would be under Jorgenson’s direction, but much of the work of scheduling would be done by the program’s manager.
The center help time would be offered to students Monday through Friday mornings and at other times based on need in the upper level of the school’s media center.
The primary focus would be on math and reading, said Jorgenson.
Those who serve in the tutoring roles would be paid on a per hour basis, and Jorgenson estimated the cost of the program for the second semester would be approximately $1,500.
He said there are compensatory aid dollars set aside through the high school to be used for tutoring, and those dollars would be used to help cover the costs of the programs.
The plan is to have the program up and running as of Jan. 7, said Jorgenson.
The program would be evaluated to determine whether or not it is a success based on the number of students who participate in the program as well as data provided from teachers who indicate whether or not a student’s grade are improving based on the help they are receiving through the student help center.
Page 2 of 2 - “I want to tell parents we have a program to help their child,” said Jorgenson, adding he believes this is just one more avenue to help students see success in their academic careers.
The board approved the program’s implementation.
In other action during its meeting, the school board:
• Approved the creation of a robotics program for students in Grades 9-12 at an estimated cost of $14,000 with funds from grants, the school’s gifted and talented funds, community education funding and other gifts being used to cover the cost.
• Agreed to discontinue charging fees and attendance at RVMS choir and band concerts.
• Accepted the resignations of LaVonne Quackenbush from her position as an assistant track coach and Lael Dornseif as head volleyball coach.
• Approved the employment of JoAnne Gewerth as an ECSE paraprofessional for 66 days at 2.5 hours per day at $9.25 per hour.
• Approved an increase in hours for Reede Gray paraprofessionals Nikki Dow-Markuson, 113 hours, and Cindy Mumme, 45 hours, at $9.25 per hour to assist elementary school kindergarten teachers as they conduct reading assessments.