Southwest students enjoy new Title 1 classes

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Middle school welcomes reading education

Southwest Middle School students now have access to more Title 1 classes for better enrichment and opportunity.

Kandie Eads, Southwest special services director, said the new Title 1 classes at the middle school are remedial reading classes. “They are for students that are having difficulty with reading,” she said. “In the past, most of our Title services have concentrated on elementary students. However, middle school can be some of the toughest years a student encounters.”

Eads said it didn't make sense to not give students extra academic help when they may need it most, in those middle school years.

“Therefore, last year, we moved toward offering those Title services at the middle school level,” she said. “We pulled students for intensive extra reading instruction in 30-minute time slots.”

Teachers helped to pick times that could be utilized for those time slots.

“We basically asked teachers what students needed help with and when we could have those students,” she said. “The teachers gave up their class time with those students for the reading instruction. “This year we decided to take it a step further.”

Eads said it is all thanks to Southwest’s Title 1 Teacher, Alice Via. “She actually started the year with those same 30-minute time slots borrowed from other teachers' class time,” Eads said. “She then asked if we could make it into a class.”

Christy Hermansen, middle school principal, had already expanded the middle school day to eight hours for the 2020-2021 school year to accommodate more flexibility in students’ schedules and to add an array of extra enrichment classes.

“So, the Title 1 Reading class just became one of those extra elective classes,” Eads said. “Of course, we called parents to make sure they were on board with their student’s schedule changing and being a part of the Title 1 Reading Class, which on the students’ schedules reads as Enrichment-Extended Reading.”

So far, Eads has only heard positive remarks from students and teachers about the classes.

“On the first day of the new class, I went into the classroom to ask the students what they thought,” she said. “The first class just said things like ‘fine’ and ‘ok’ — typical Middle School language.

“But, in the second class there was a student I knew very well from his Title classes when he was in Elementary.”

Before Eads could even ask what the students thought, that student said "I'm back.”

“To that, I replied that I was glad and was he happy to be there, and he told me he was because he knew he still needed help,” she said. “That same student smiles and says hi every time I go into the classroom, even though that same student has also assured me he doesn't like school because it's too hard.

“I like to think he's happy there because the reading class is making school just a bit easier.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: