Courtesy of San Benito High School:
Prior to the 2018-19 school year, San Benito High School did not have an instructional system that provided additional support for all students in an equitable way.
“The issue was that we could state with certainty that a small percentage of our student population was participating in additional support provided by teachers outside of classroom time,” Principal Adrian Ramirez said, referring to optional tutoring sessions. “We also know that a significant percentage of our student population has to navigate through barriers, out of their control, that prevent or discourage them from taking advantage of these opportunities outside of the bell schedule.”
Hence, the Academic Focus Time (AFT) model was instituted at the start of the Fall 2018 semester, continued through the Spring semester, and will return for the coming school year.
“The AFT system allows us to mitigate these barriers to growth by providing a structured system, during the school day, that provides all students access to additional support in the form of intervention, enrichment, and study halls,” Ramirez said, noting that AFT’s are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between the first period of the day and break. That time on Mondays was used as a homeroom period, providing an organizational starting point that offered dedicated time for students to verify and select their AFT session for the week. Homeroom also addressed social-emotional learning, with a systematic method of ensuring all students are informed of resources and given the opportunity to build skills for a successful high school experience. “Homeroom also a llows us to provide all students with the opportunity to have a positive connection with another adult on campus,” as the sessions are hosted by teachers, Ramirez said.
AFT/Homeroom Snapshot for 2018-2019
- There were 29 total Homeroom periods during the year.
- Students enrolled by Sept. 4 had 97 opportunities to sign-up for and attend AFTs.
- Approximately 291,000 AFTs were signed up for throughout the year by the student body.
Examples of topics covered in Homeroom Period
- Emergency drills
- Core values lessons
- Schoolwide expectations lessons
- Student Congress meetings
- ASB voting
- Class assemblies
- Survey input from students
- Socio-emotional learning lessons
- Career exploration
Examples of Student Services Sessions Offered for 2018-2019
- College rep visits
- College application assistance
- 9th grade support
- Financial aid (FAFSA) support
- SAT/ACT registration
- Student feedback sessions
- Gavilan College registration
- Scholarship application support
- 10th Grade: Career pathways information
- Job opportunity placement