Board of Education discusses intervention program

Published 9:23 am Friday, February 19, 2010

Shelby County Board of Education members discussed the possible pitfalls of a pilot intervention program designed to help underperforming students at the board meeting Feb. 18.

Board Vice President Steve Martin, who brought up the concerns, stressed the intervention program happens during the seventh period of the school day, which begins at 1:30 p.m. During that period, students not in the intervention program can take enrichment courses, such as Advanced Placement prep.

However, Martin said he was concerned such students would attempt to have band or sports courses as their enrichment courses. He also said it was possible such students could have band or sports courses during eighth period, which would mean the last hour and a half of the school day were taken up with non-academic courses.

“From 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., they would not be in an academic environment,” Martin said.

Larry Headrick, high schools coordinator for Shelby County Schools, said educators needed to consider students who were underperforming.

“What do you do with the students who can’t read? You give them more. You don’t take anything away,” Headrick said. “We tried to do it after school. They can’t come after school.”

Superintendent Randy Fuller said the board depends on central office staff and each school’s administration to monitor the intervention and enrichment programs.

“We cannot have a principal or athletic director having practice from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m.,” Fuller said.

After the meeting, Martin said he’s trying to ensure students get the full benefit of an academic environment. He also said enrichment courses should be open to anyone, but according to course descriptions, students must be on the team for a certain sport to enroll in the course.

“We have a course, football. I don’t care what you say, the only people allowed in that course are on the team,” Martin said. “If it’s not open to anyone, if it’s only open to members of the team, is it an academic course?”