New Referral Program Helping Freshmen Stay on Task

Getting off to a good start academically in your freshman year goes a long way in the college application process that begins during a student’s junior year.  Teachers and Parents realize that, but convincing a 14-year old freshman that his grades in his 1st semester of high school can make or break his ability to attend the college of his choice four years later isn’t always as easy.  That’s why St. Rita has instituted a new referral program that affects all freshmen and their teachers for this school year.

Each week freshmen teachers are required to fill out a referral for any student in their class that has a (D) or an (F) at the time of Wednesday’s weekly grade checks.  Those referrals are then delivered to one of the teachers who are in charge of our Villanova Testing Center (Mrs. Misiora, Mr. Sieloff, or Mrs. Landstrom).  Students are then required to spend one afternoon in the Villanova Testing Center that week either doing make-up work that they had not completed on time, or they are to be tutored on the particular skill that is affecting their grade.  Mrs. Landstrom and Mr. Sieloff spend every day after school in the center along with members of The National Honor Society and a volunteer parent tutor, Mrs. Colleen Larson.

Knowing that St. Rita attracts students from well over 100 different grammar schools every year with each student coming into high school with varying levels of preparedness, the school has made a commitment to do everything possible to help those students who are struggling as well as give those students who aren’t performing up to their capabilities a much-needed kick in the rear.  Statistics of the effectiveness of the program are currently being collected, and if the program proves effective for the freshman St. Rita may decide to implement the program in the near future for sophomores, juniors, and seniors as well.

Article written by John Nee ’93