Students at Mingus Union will soon have an entire hour for lunch four days a week this upcoming school year. This will be more than just an extended lunch period, however, according to Mingus Union Principal Genie Gee.
“We’ve been looking for a new intervention model for our school,” she said.
In an effort to utilize more school time hours in the day, Mingus Union is implementing a “power hour” to encourage student achievement as well as help those who may need academic assistance.
The “power hour” model will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are early release days and will follow the original 40-minute lunch model.
Gee said she hopes this school-wide initiative will offer more support for students during the day so they don’t have to come in before or after school. She said she also hopes an hour will help prepare students for a college model.
“More areas of the school will be open,” she said. “This will help teach students to be more responsible for their time.”
Gee said the idea for a power hour came when staff attended a leadership symposium and saw a presentation by Desert Edge High School where they had recently implemented a similar model.
According to the school’s website, they implement “academic overtime,” which is a mandatory 30-minute tutoring session during the lunch period for students not passing their classes. Mingus will be implementing academic overtime as well.
Other students may use the extra time to form AP study groups and make up tests or quizzes for days they may have been absent.
Gee said power hour will also help limit classroom disruptions.
“Students can check in with their counselor or pay off their cafeteria tab,” she said. “We want to keep students in the classroom.”
The key idea in the power hour concept, Gee said, is making sure students can get the help they need.
“Any student who needs help can now get it within the hours of the school day,” she said. “I’m really excited about the notion of students having additional help four days a week.”
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