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PTECH students benefit from extra time in school

May 4, 2021 | Filed in Archive

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Addition of in-person Fridays helps boost grades, confidence

Students and teachers are seeing the fruit of adding an in-person day of school on Fridays, with grades and confidence rising for those who attend.

Since the start of the 2020-21 school year, Fridays were designated as an all-remote day. However, beginning in March, students who would benefit from some additional time with teachers were invited to come to Glebe Street School for that extra day.

“It allows us to focus on individual students better because of the smaller numbers in classes. There is a greater opportunity for one-on-one time with teachers,” special education teacher Jeanne Halloran said.

Halloran added that having the students in the classroom for a time set aside for getting work done has helped students catch up on their work. “I usually give them short bursts of time to focus to maximize their productivity,” she said.

Ninth-grader Zachary Mattioni of Gloversville said attending school in person on Fridays has been especially helpful for English Language Arts. “I get to interact with the teacher a lot more,” he said.

Derick Ruiz, a student from Amsterdam, said he has found having the time to focus helpful, too. During a recent Friday, the ninth-grader said he was able to complete two math assignments in one class period.

While Ruiz notes the academic benefits of in-person Fridays are important, he also pointed to the social benefits. “I was actually excited when this opportunity came because I miss seeing my friends in school,” he said.

Halloran said the in-person Fridays have been especially beneficial for students who find remote learning more difficult.

Chris Lilley, a ninth-grader from Gloversville, said he doesn’t like remote learning, so he is very grateful to be able to come to school the extra day. He said teachers at PTECH have done a lot during the year to make changes when needed. “They keep adjusting things to find what’s best for us,” he said.

Lilley said he appreciates having time dedicated to extra help that doesn’t include learning new content. “I was behind, and it helps to have the extra time,” he said. “It’s a boost of confidence and good for your grades.”

Anna Goderie, who teaches 10th-grade English Language Arts, said “seeing students be proud of themselves and feeling caught up is great.” She added that in-person Fridays has helped some students to have more reliable WiFi and fewer distractions than they might have at home.

“I find it easier to focus at school than at home,” said Gabriella Pettit, an 11th-grader from Johnstown. Because all of her classes are at the HFM BOCES Main Campus or FMCC, she doesn’t usually come to Glebe Street School. But, Pettit said she really liked the atmosphere of the school and the energy of the people. “As much as I don’t like asking for help, I knew I needed it,” she said. “I got a lot done for a college class I’ve been struggling with, which takes off a lot of unneeded stress.”

Goderie said with the smaller number of students in attendance on Fridays, they are less self-conscious about asking questions and are more willing to ask for help.

Aaliyah Sistrunk, an 11th-grader from Gloversville, said it can be awkward to ask a question of the teacher in a remote class. “It’s easier to talk to teachers and get one-on-one help here on Fridays,” she said. “I need to focus on my grades, and this is a good way to do that.”