As I'm out and and about talking with teachers, one of the common things secondary schools are struggling with is how to deal with interventions. Elementary classrooms have approached interventions with much more finesse for years. The problem at secondary is twofold. First is the issue of what to do. At the secondary level, we're more or less inclined to teach a unit of study, give the test, and if kids flunk, we just move on. We typically don't do so well with going back to revisit things. Now that teachers are becoming more attuned to the concept of remediation, we're looking for curriculum and strategies that will support this. The second part of the problem concerns time. Elementary classrooms have more flexibility with time blocks, while secondary is typically stuck in a 6-period day. A teacher has 50 minutes or so to tackle whatever instructional needs there are and then the kids are gone.
I am starting to hear about creative solutions at secondary to address the issue of time. Some teachers are collaborating and combining classes for regrouping. Others are looking to their elementary peers for ideas about workshop models and grouping within a given block of time. But what if we brought back Study Hall? And instead of the end of the day (when brains and bodies are tired), we built it in as part of the schedule for teachers and students? There will be some that use the system for learning...and others who will use the system to get our for a smoke or snack (as this WaPo article suggests), but could schools adjust this beginning idea to help move all kids forward? Are there pockets of time each day we could better use for student learning and/or teacher collaboration?