ROAR: Teachers, students adapt




Roseville High School changed its schedule at the beginning of the year to include academic support time after first period each day. Under the name “ROAR,” the intervention schedule features a 30-minute priority period that corresponds to the day of the week.

If a student has a D or F in a class, they are required to attend their designated priority period until they raise their grade above a D. If not, they may spend their times in the common areas – Patti Baker Theater, cafeteria or library – or work in other classes with teacher approval.

RHS principal David Byrd researched similar successful programs prior to implementing the priority period.

“We went and researched [the other schools] and what they have been able to do is help kids who are failing or in danger of failing a class,” Byrd said.

According to Byrd, RHS is committed to the priority period program and hopes the program yields successful results in the near future.

“I think we have to try it out for a couple of years in order to start see some of the benefits, but we’re definitely committed to do it for the entire year,” Byrd said. “We really think if other schools have had success with this, we can have success with this.”

According to student data manager Dana Studebaker last year’s D and F rates as of the first progress report were 34 percent, and this year that number decreased to 30 percent.

RHS counselor Philomena Crone hopes to see the ROAR program uphold the grade improvement.

“If the D and F rate is going down, I would hope that we would continue the ROAR period,” Crone said.

Spanish teacher Paula Righello uses the priority period to help her students catch up and allow them time to study.

“If we tested and kids didn’t get some part of the test, then I’ll keep them and go back over the test and reteach the lesson. Kids who have been absent and missed taking an evaluation, they come in and take it,” Righello said. “I also have kids just come to the class. They don’t need to be here, but they come and they use this time to study or make use of the Chromebooks for something they need to do.”

Chemistry teacher Robert Mahlman said the priority period system isn’t perfect, and not every student follows the priority period’s requirements.

“I had two students in my class that had a D in my class that never showed up,” Mahlman said. “They are probably going to another teacher, and since they didn’t go to the library they won’t get caught.”

According to Mahlman, if the student doesn’t utilize the priority period, the 30 minute window of opportunity closes.

“A kid who has a D and not using the half hour to bring the grade up, are just hurting themselves more,” Mahlman said.

Junior Amanda Sjoberg said students with a hectic schedule can benefit from the 30 minute priority period to focus their time and give them more time for their extracurriculars.

“I think it’s very beneficial for students who have a packed schedule,” Sjoberg said. “Having the extra 30 minutes can really help a student with getting that extra help and getting homework done.”

Senior Rachel Huber has concerns with staff controlling where students go each day. Huber hopes as the year goes on, students will learn to use the priority period.

“I feel on paper it sounded like a great idea, but I don’t really know how we are going to keep track of people,” Huber said. “I think farther into the year people will get the hang of it and will be more inclined to actually go seek help.”

Sophomore Dean Efstathiu said the priority period gives him a chance to maintain his grades and provide him with the tools to succeed.

“I think it is pretty useful, because my grade is dropping in math and I’m kind of suffering,” Efstathiu said. “Each day I’m going there [and] it’s really helping me. I can ask questions on the homework and prepare for a test.”