AHS Freshmen Give Up Lunchtime Make the Grade

Stephanie Navarro, a freshman at Amarillo High
Stephanie Navarro, a freshman at Amarillo High
Lenette Kelly, a counselor at AHS
Lenette Kelly, a counselor at AHS

The name of the game at Amarillo High School is early intervention.  And if they have to force freshmen who are not doing their homework to do it during lunch, they will.

"I was kind of upset at first but then it just helped me in the end, and I thought it was good," said Stephanie Navarro, a freshman at Amarillo High.

Navarro is one of several students who have participated in the "Learning Lunch" program at AHS.

The program requires freshmen who are not turning in homework assignments to work on it during lunch.  For those who have trouble with the material, teachers and counselors are available to help them out.

"What we find out sometimes, it really is kids who got too busy or they forgot, or maybe their work habits are not developed yet.  And so we can counsel them on that," said Lenette Kelly, a counselor at AHS.

This is the first year the program has been implemented.  Kelly said it's modeled after a similar program at a school in Detroit.

Kelly said the program is geared towards freshmen because they are now required to pass more classes than in year's past.

"They are required to have 26 credits for graduation and since we have a seven period day over the course of four years, that's only 28 chances to get those 26 credits," said Kelly.

Kelly said she has seen an 80 percent increase in passing rates in freshman in the first six weeks, compared to the same period last year.

The "Learning Lunch" program at AHS is only geared towards freshmen right now, but that could change.  Kelly said she is mulling expanding the program to other grades in the future.

And how does Stephanie feel about having to give up her lunch period to raise her grades?

"I'm more like I need one-on-one help and that's what they were there for and it just helps me a lot. I never though I would understand it but I did," said Stephanie Navarro.