Monday - Thursday
Welcome and Snack, 4:00 pm - 4:15 pm
Students sign into the program, grab a snack, and find their seat at the communal table. Seating assignments rotate throughout the year to provide a balanced mix of friendly faces and potential new relationships. Staff are interspersed among students to ensure student needs are met.
Group Meeting, 4:15 pm - 4:30 pm
The Site Coordinator welcomes students, sets the tone and agenda for the day, and makes any important announcements.
A chosen student leader comes forward to present the "question of the day" and facilitate group conversation. The "question of the day" provides an opportunity for students to build relationships with one another. It can be a thought-provoking question, a poem that sparks conversation, or a profound statement that solicits silent reflection.
The Site Coordinator then issues the "challenge of the day," which directly connects with the activities planned for the week. The challenge can be academic (as you're reading today, take note of the main character's traits and be ready to share during reflection) or social-emotional (make an effort to put someone else's needs before your own this afternoon).
Academic, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Students break into groups based on reading/math level, teacher feedback, and student voice/choice, rotating through the options outlined below on a weekly basis. The Site Coordinator meets with each student quarterly (more often as necessary) to develop/review their plan for completing appropriate academic activities. By regularly reviewing the student's academic progress (both in school and during out-of-school-time), we ensure students feel empowered to choose the academic content they need most.
Homework/Tutoring: Students who are in the same grade and have the same classes work collaboratively to complete homework. Tutors facilitate small groups and one-on-one lessons to ensure students complete assigned projects and are prepared for upcoming exams.
Reading/Writing Small Group: Based on results from our STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments, students will be pulled to small-group lessons that address specific skill deficiencies and promote mastery of grade-level standards. Helping students build foundational skill increases their success during the school day as well.
Academic Enrichment: Students who have no homework and do not need tutoring will choose from several Academic Enrichment stations. For example, a student may curate a student poetry collection that will be published each semester or complete a project-based learning exercise.
Enrichment, 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
Enrichment time is driven by student interests. Students complete a survey at the beginning of the year to help staff plan enrichment offerings and provide feedback throughout the year to ensure activities are in line with student expectations. We are well-equipped to design and conduct enrichment programming in-house but also build relationships with a number of partners. For example, we may host a cooking lesson ourselves and then bring in a chef to teach specific techniques.
Enrichment time also provides an opportunity to address social-emotional needs. We regularly partner with organizations that facilitate clubs for boys and girls specifically designed to address the obstacles that at-risk middle school students face.
We also use this timeslot to host speakers and hold events. For example, during our college and career success units, we invite representatives from different career pathways to share their professional experiences. Additionally, we sometimes use this time for a one-time event, like a performance by the Nashville Ballet.