By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Students at Pinkerton Academy are taking part in a new pilot program to help bring added success to their study skills.
The school is hosting a new directed study hall approach to give students an alternative atmosphere for getting their work done.
Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Chris Harper said the pilot program is for those students who need a more structured study hall program.
“We use study hall as a time to do work for class while in school,” Harper said.
Traditional study periods are for students to get caught up with homework they need to finish or they can just sit quietly and read.
Those more traditional study hall approaches are strictly voluntary, he said, and students with a more organized, independent learning nature will excel.
With the directed approach, students who may be lacking in those areas may find the program successful.
“We are ensuring the learning of all students, and providing a more structured environment,” Harper said.
Right now, the pilot study hall program takes a maximum of eight students. Those students are selected to go to the program by their teachers. They give up part of their lunch time and the study period becomes a working lunch.
Parents are contacted about the program and kept informed of their child’s progress.
“Many schools have used a program similar to this,” Harper said.
Students remain in the directed study hall for about two weeks. If they need more time, they can stay as long as needed in order to get the work done and receive help.
“It’s not a punishment, we don’t want to make it a bad time,” Harper said.
He said getting homework done is essential to the total learning package. Successful working skills leads to bigger point value success in other classroom work.
Sometimes students have a lot of going on at home and out of school. Helping get the work done in this specific type of setting can help, Harper said.
“Kids have a lot of pressure on them when they are not in school,” he said. “It’s a pilot program this year and we’ll see if it works.”