Since the arrival of our new Principal Mr. Donnie Bartlett in the 2016-2017 school year, many changes have been made. The most recent – and quite largest – is the new TCHS Credit Recovery/Seat Time system.
In the past, many students scrambled to complete their seat time hours to receive credit for their courses. In fact, many did not even receive credit – last year, about 80% of TCHS students did not receive credit for one or more courses. The main goal of this new system is for students to retain credit for the courses that they do miss, and to help those students become successful by implementing learning when they do make up their seat time.
Forming the Plan
Bartlett has put a heavy focus on attendance. Knowing the value of education, the value of a comfortable environment, and the necessity of students’ effort itself, TCHS composed a committee of about 40 people that drafted a Credit Recovery Plan for Excessive Absences. This committee included Bartlett and the rest of the Timber Creek Administration. Along with these representatives, each administrator personally chose a variety of about 4-5 students to create a fair representation of the general Timber Creek Population.
This committee met in Nov. 2016, and finalized the plan in Jan. 2017. The essential goals for students recovering credit is to increase the attendance statistic for Timber Creek High School, decrease the number of students with ten or more accumulated absences, increase the awareness of the importance of attendance for both students and teachers, and reward those with perfect or near perfect attendance with incentives.
New Seat Time and Credit Recovery System
Students will be completing credit recovery or seat time hours every six weeks, or every grading period, and the hours assigned must be completed by the end of those six weeks. Here’s the catch: students who miss time in class with a certain teacher must complete those hours with that same teacher (meaning, students cannot go to a history teacher to complete seat time hours for a pre-cal teacher). Also, instead of receiving one hour per thirty minutes, students must complete one hour for one hour. Seat time hours will not be served in the library. Although this implementation is stricter, it reemphasizes the importance of going to school and learning.
Another large change in completing seat time hours will be the addition of Falcon Night School. For those who are familiar with Saturday School (running 8 am to noon), it is the same thing, but on weeknights. Falcon School (Night School) will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mrs. Boehringer will facilitate Falcon School. Administrators prefer that students bring their homework to Saturday School or Falcon School to receive fair credit.
There are other Credit Recovery/Seat Time options that have been added to give students the opportunity to get their attendance hours. Seniors who have off periods may come in during their time off (whether it be 1st, 4th, 5th period) to complete seat time hours or credit recovery hours. Students may also come in on “School Flex days.” School flex days have been an addition to the new system – on days that KellerISD has teacher development days, students may come in to receive seat time or credit recovery hours. However, those students who wish to receive credit through school flex days must arrange a time with an administrator or the teacher of the missed class. The last resort, unfortunately, would be summer school.
Bartlett told Talon reporters he is very big on believing in the good of all people. Therefore, instead of punishing those with poor attendance, he wants to reward those with great attendance.
In January, the committee that created the Credit Recovery/Seat Time plan also composed a draft of incentives that students with perfect (0 absences) or near perfect (2 or less absences) may be rewarded with. These include (but are not limited to):
- Waivers/reduced costs for school dances, prom, extracurricular activities, etc.
- Reduced student parking fees, including senior parking painted spots
- Preferential senior parking space selection for upcoming seniors
- Free admissions into sporting events
- Discounted TCHS Falcon apparel
- (Mr. Bartlett was particularly excited for this one) Off campus formal luncheon/dinner for students who achieved perfect attendance in a semester
Many of these students who are eligible for these rewards will be put in a draw, just like a lottery. This reward system is a way to focus on the good, rather than punishing the bad.
Seat time, though applying for all grades, is especially burdening for seniors. “Let’s have a good last month of high school,” Bartlett reminds us.
Attendance is important, learning is important, and being responsible is important.