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Sun., Oct. 4
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Morristown Central School approves new program to help students with back homework


MORRISTOWN - In November a new program will begin at Morristown Central School designed to help students recover when they’re behind on their studies.

“The general concept is that we’re not going to allow students to take zeros,” Principal Jeffrey M. Durant said. “A lot of times students do homework and they get a zero and they’re fine with it. We’re going to make sure they’re held accountable.”

The program, which hasn’t been given a name yet, will keep kids in grades three through nine who are behind on their homework after school for an hour on Thursday afternoons in order to give them a chance to catch up.

Mr. Durant said it’s all about “giving them that extra time, extra quiet space for them to work.”

Approved by the district board of education at the Wednesday night meeting the program will see two teachers staying after school with students to give them additional guidance.

Throughout the week teachers will keep track of who isn’t staying on top of their work and on Wednesdays they will report that data to the principal’s office to prepare for Thursday’s session.

“We’re hoping they will take the opportunity to receive some sort of credit for back work to gain success,” Mr. Durant said. “It’s not detention.”

The program is similar to the Opportunity Room that operated at the district several years ago.

Board of Education Member Mary Anne Bailey said, “My kid got snafued a couple times and I think that’s good because we need to do that.”

“I thought it was great, personally, when my kid could be caught,” Ms. Bailey said, adding that it was helpful to keep them caught up at school. “That’s the benefit of a small school. Everybody knows you.”

Mr. Durant said the “Opportunity Room” name could be resurrected if that’s what people wanted but said he has been focused on the function of the program rather than its title.

“If we don’t catch [students] up sooner rather than later,” he said, “they’re just going to fall further and further behind.”

While the program will not be mandatory, Mr. Durant said parents will be notified when their children fall behind and when the school thinks the extra homework time could be helpful.

Busing will be provided for the students who do stay.

In total the program will cost the district less than $10,000, Superintendent David J. Glover said. The program was approved by the board of education with Board Member James Michaels opposing it.

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