Keeping kids out of remedial classes

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For a lot of students good grades don't come easy but hard work dedicated teachers and a little extra help can make a big difference.

It is not uncommon for some students to take remedial classes when they enter college.  Teachers want to make sure they not only pass a class but truly understand the course material!  It's something they are constantly improving.

The future of their education may not seem that important to a second grader, but educators say that's where it all begins.

"We want them to want to learn and enjoy education," said Nettleton teacher Anita Belew.

Anita Belew said you either learn to love learning or hate learning when you are young.

"If you can bring someone in to come along beside them and help them get over this hurdle whatever the hurdle is help them and then they can feel success," said Belew.

Westside Principal Bryan Duffie said 9th grade is another big development year for students.  If a student is successful there they will likely be successful in high school and even college.

"As long as we can get students to learn that and know this is how the system works and here's what high school's all about they can be more successful," said Duffie.

Teachers want to stop a problem before it starts.

"We have reading across the curriculum and math across the curriculum where students are using their math scores in other courses and their literacy skills in other courses," said Belew.

After nine weeks each student at Nettleton takes a target test to see if they've learned what they should have.

"If they didn't make at least a 70% on their target test then we implement an intervention plan," said Belew.

At Duffie said they offer computer programs to help students succeed.  Similar programs are offered at other region eight schools.  At Nettleton, the JEDI program targets individual student needs.

"We set up an individual plan for those kids based on the things they didn't get on their target test we're doing that proactively before they ever take an end of course exam," said Belew.

JEDI is an online program that students can use at school or at home to test themselves and get help with what they did wrong and tips on how to fix it.

Nettleton educators are working on expanding their remediation program for the 2010-2011 school year.  They hope to be able to include transportation for those students who might not be able to stay after school for extra help because they have to catch the bus to get home.

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