The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is taking significant steps to raise standardized test scores for 7th and 8th grade students. Junior/Senior High School Principal Jim Polite told the school board Tuesday they will expand math and English/language arts offerings during the school day.
Classes will meet for a period and a half each, which amounts to roughly 75 minutes per day of math and of English/language arts instruction.
Polite says N.J.-S.P. students are capable of learning, but they need some extra time to absorb the subject matter. He hopes catching them when they start junior high will close the achievement gap quickly. Additionally Polite says there’s more scheduling flexibility in the younger grades. The state requires high school students to have a certain number of credits in order to gradate. Polite says focusing on students in the middle grades will help them obtain the schools necessary to be successful in high school.
He adds classes will be smaller, as students will be grouped based on their achievement level. “High level” students are ones with demonstrated ability in one or both subjects, while “mid-level” are performing at their grade average. Students who are struggling and may need some extra help will be in a class that’s team taught by a general teacher and one accredited in special education.
Polite says students will still take agriculture, health and physical education, band and choir classes in junior high. The only class that’s being dropped is art for 8th grade students.