Another area that Durgee is working to strengthen is student academic support. The school now offers a math lab every period to provide students with extra help during study halls and lunch. Students can also visit the help center for support in social studies and English as well as with homework. Students are allowed to eat lunch in the math lab and the help center as they work on their studies.
Durgee staff members have no tolerance for incomplete homework. Teachers expect all students to do their homework and turn it in at the appropriate time. If a student needs assistance with homework, he or she can visit the help center. Van Benschoten said the number of students taking advantage of the help center is growing.
Durgee still offers the 3 to 5 program after school, Monday through Thursday, to provide students with additional support in the content areas. Each day is devoted to a specific content area. This is the third year the school has offered the program, and Van Benschoten said the number of students using it has grown month by month, each year.
The junior high school is in the process of developing a peer-tutoring program for math. Teachers are recommending students who they feel would make good tutors. Any student interested in being a tutor would commit to five 40-minute tutoring sessions. This is sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society and the math department.
Recognizing student achievement
Durgee has continued with its Certificate of Achievement program to recognize students for the effort they demonstrate in school, good school attendance and community involvement, rather than solely for the grade point averages they achieve.
The Durgee Building Planning Team coordinates the program. To qualify for the Certificate of Achievement, students have to apply to the program each marking period and they have to meet certain criteria, including a minimum GPA of 75 percent, participation in community and/or school activities, and no more than five absences or tardies per marking period. All students are eligible to participate in this program. This is the third year that the school is offering the Certificate of Achievement. The school will recognize students who follow through with the program for each of the four marking periods at a special breakfast in the spring.