Staff editorial: Seminar changes ineffective

More modifications need to be made before seminar can be accepted by all

JagWire staff

Mentoring Mondays is a new program set into place as a part of the district-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support policy, in which seminar travel is stopped to allow teachers to check up on students’ academic standing. In addition to Mentoring Mondays, Professional Learning Community meetings were moved to seminar. While the intentions are beneficial, the new policies hurt more than they help. If adjustments were made, seminar would be much more effective.

The goal of Mentoring Mondays is to inform students of missing assignments and current grades. However, informing students does nothing unless they have the ability to go and get these assignments or seek help in classes in which they have bad grades. This could create problems if a student is absent on Friday, and then needs to make up an assignment, quiz, lab, project or test. If a student is unable to come in before or after school, but is prepared to make up an assignment or test, making them wait until Tuesday is helping no one.

Moving PLCs back to seminar also removes a day when a teacher can be visited. If a teacher has Mentoring Mondays, PLCs on Tuesdays, MVTV on Thursdays and Early Release on Fridays, then Wednesday is the only full seminar to visit them. A solution to this would be to move mentoring to Thursdays, which are already partially taken up by MVTV. While moving mentoring would require re-scheduling PLCs, it would be worth it. Another option would be to keep it on Monday, but only have it once a month. This would free up more time for students to get help while still keeping the goal of Mentoring Mondays.

Seminar also has an odd time frame for Mentoring Mondays; 45 minutes is too short to do impactful mentoring. However, it is also too long to be devoted to telling approximately 20 students about their grades, which would average just over 2 minutes per student. While some students may need 2 or more minutes, others who don’t have any missing assignments will need much less time.

It is contradictory to have a system set into place to encourage students to be responsible, when in actuality, the responsible thing to do would be for students to keep up with their own grades and assignments. A more beneficial system might be to make having no missing assignments a requirement for Early Release. This would cause students to motivate themselves to get all assignments turned in, rather than relying on teachers to remind them to do so.

Moving Mentoring Mondays to a different day of the week, decreasing its frequency or tying in missing assignments with Early Release requirements would be more beneficial than what is currently in effect. The administration should take the steps necessary to make Mentoring Mondays more helpful for everyone.

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