School Board considers intervention program

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2005

Each year students who may not have reached their expectations are left with two options. They may repeat the grade or attend summer schools to satisfy the grade for the class failed.

However, a third possibility may soon be available for students giving them an opportunity to fix the problem during the year.

Dr. Tony Speegle, principal of U.S. Jones Elementary, addressed the city school board Thursday to tell them he had heard about a great new program that could keep students on track.

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“I heard an innovative idea and think we should talk about it,” Speegle said. “It is a workshop which is a sort of a subject recovery program. If a kid comes in here in the middle of the semester and makes bad grades the first semester and starts to pull them up the second semester they would have an opportunity to have a subject recovery for the semester through a tutoring program.”

Speegle said the program offers a great opportunity, but it is an opportunity the students would have to take for themselves. He said it would take initiative and a thirst to learn for the program to be successful.

“It would give them an alternative to having to go to summer school,” Speegle said. “Of course they would have to come and participate on their own. It would not be required, they would have to show the initiative to show up.”

Speegle said Demopolis schools currently have several programs to help students catch up in subjects they are currently falling behind on. The programs are great for helping students improve in troubled areas, but in the end if they have not made the grade in the previous term they are still faced with repeating or summer school.

“Right now we have a tutoring program,” Speegle said. “But there is no process for them to recover from a bad grade. This is a good opportunity to catch that student up and move them to where they need to be. That way they can go back and fix everything they have lost during that bad start.”

Speegle said the program would probably host an estimated 10 to 20 students at a time which would make the program even more successful by giving tutors a small number to work with. Most of all, he said it would give the children hope.

“One problem we had is that is the student gets off the bad start they feel there is no way to fix it,” Speegle said. “This way they have a chance.”