Additional academic support classes introduced

Noa Braun, Author

The number of Focus on Success classes at Palo Alto High School has been increased, allowing for struggling students to receive additional assistance and support in classes.

Any student can choose to enroll in Focus on Success, according to math teacher Kathi Bowers, one of the teachers who will be leading the classes. Students with D’s and F’s may also be recommended by a teacher to sign up.

“These [Focus on Success] are classes and count as an elective,” Bowers said. “Students can elect to enroll in a Focus on Success class or they can be recommended by a faculty member. The purpose of the class is to provide support for academics and help with organization and time management.”

Focus on Success classes are organized such that the class is offered all seven periods of the day. Teachers of different departments teach each section of the class to encourage a diversified learning experience.

“What we’ve tried to do is have a teacher from each department be responsible for one of those sections,” said Principal Phil Winston.

Among these teachers are, Elizabeth Brimhall, Magdalena Rivera, Julia Taylor, Matt Hall, Jason Fung, Letitia Burton, Kathi Bowers, Maria Rao and Alexander Davis.

Additional classes were created in an attempt to assist students in need of further guidance. However, the administration encourages students to seek support in Focus on Success if they participate in multiple extracurricular activities throughout the day.

“It’s not just a class for students who aren’t doing well, some students may have enrolled in that class because they have other activities after school so it’s a great opportunity for them to get work time during the day,” Winston said. “We certainly wouldn’t turn anyone away that wants to be in that class.”

Winston believes it is an obligation of the administration to empower students to to reach their full potential.

“If a student is getting an F, we’re going to make sure that that student gets the help they need and they [the student] may not have any say if they are going into that class or not,” Winston said. “It’s our responsibility to support students, even if they won’t support themselves.”