Naperville Central’s new Redhawk Recovery aims to help students who are missing assignments make up their work.
“We know that our teachers are making lesson decisions based on student performance in their class,” said Jackie Thornton, Naperville Central’s assistant principal for curriculum and instruction. “When the teacher doesn’t have any evidence of student learning it’s hard to make those decisions. So Redhawk Recovery is trying to give students who need additional support in that area a time and a place so that they can submit evidence of their learning and then teachers can make those decisions.”
Students are assigned to go to Redhawk Recovery during lunch and must continue to do so until their assignments have been completed. They can be placed into Redhawk Recovery by both teachers and counselors.
“The most efficient is for a teacher to refer that student to Redhawk Recovery,” Thornton said. “Sometimes those referrals can come from the student’s counselor, but most of the time from the teacher.”
While some students dislike that it takes away from their lunch hour, many students see a large benefit to Redhawk Recovery.
“I definitely think it helps,” senior Mary Amato said. “I actually missed the first two weeks of school so I was one of the guinea pig people to see how it works. It really helped me catch up because it not only was basically an extra study hall, but it gave me a quiet place to do my work with no distractions.”
Since the start of the program this year, over 120 students have exited Redhawk Recovery and about 80 are still currently enrolled.
“Not every teacher’s using it, which is okay because it’s new, but we get a lot of positive feedback from teachers who are using it,” Thornton said. “They don’t feel like they’re chasing students down for tests and things like that.”
This is also a great resource for students who have a lot of extracurriculars after school.
“I talked to the teachers and I wanted to do more,” Amato said. “I know some people don’t like it as much because you’re missing lunch, but for me I’m extremely busy outside of school so it’s really beneficial to me.”
That said, there are still things to be improved on.
“A lot of teachers are saying it’s getting really crowded,” Amato said. “If they had two rooms now instead of one, it might be beneficial to make it bigger.”
In addition, some students have conflicts during lunch.
“We’re learning so much because it’s only year one of implementation,” Thornton said. “For example, if a freshman needs help right now during their lunch they also have LINK, and so there are some challenges with that which is why we’re talking about a before school option.”
In the future, Thornton anticipates students will have more in-school opportunities to make up late work.
“We hope to have some dedicated time in the school day for students to get what they need in order to move their learning forward,” Thornton said. “I would see Redhawk Recovery as one of the causes that might need to be supported during that time.”