On the edge

A new program is helping Fort Dodge students catch up and succeed.

Credit restoration, started last year, serves students who are at risk or in jeopardy of not graduating, according to Erik Hoveland, FDCSD professional support.

“We’ve already got summer school in place for kids that fail a class during the school year, make up two credits. And then math tutors, who tutors kids after school Tuesdays and Thursdays in the library. And we already offer e2020 classes, which are online classes for kids to make up time, but there was never really any set time for kids to have that they could actually work on things,” he said.

The block of time after school gives students an opportunity to work and improve their grades. In its first nine weeks, the program was a success, Hoveland said.

“Right after school, from 3:30 to 5:00, we’ve got kids working on e2020 classes, meaning they failed math either last year or the year before, or this first term, and we’re having them make that credit up after school, three days a week for an hour and a half, with the goal of them not falling behind then,” he said.

He added, “It’s really easy for kids to fail a class and then fail a class and not be able to get above where that’s at.”

Students participating in the program either do classes online or complete their homework.

“I’ve got two kids who their teacher gives me their homework and I sit down with them at the table and we work through whatever it is they’re struggling with,” Hoveland said.

Hoveland said students are responding well to the program and the dedicated time.

“The other night, one kid said ‘This isn’t that bad. I actually got a lot of homework done I wouldn’t have gotten done at home.’ That made me feel good, because that was kind of the goal,” he said. “Providing a space, providing an opportunity for a kid who otherwise wouldn’t do any homework.”

More than 20 students are currently participating in the program, now in its fourth week this term. Students are referred to the program by counselors.

“Let’s say, the student, first semester, English I, got a 58 percent, just missed three basic concepts that could have gotten them a D minus,” he said. “Through the counselor and the teacher, they can collaborate together and see what concepts were missed and that student can come with me after school, work on those concepts, make that deliver to the teacher to show they have an understanding, which will then get their grade up to at least a 61, and that will get them credit.”

The program is currently supported by the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.