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School day gets longer for Chaney students falling short

Published: Sun, November 27, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick



Chaney students who earn below a grade of C in a core subject will see an incomplete on their report cards and be required to attend an after-school tutoring program.

The extended-day academic probation program is mandatory for students who earn a D or F.

Tutoring will be twice per week per subject in which the student is earning below a C.

“Our main goal is to get kids to learn, not to fail them,” Chaney Principal Richard Gozur told members of the city schools academic distress commission last week.

The commission, appointed in early 2010 after the city school district failed to meet adequate yearly progress for multiple years, is charged with implementing an academic-recovery plan for the district. It’s the first such commission in the state.

“It’s not that we’re trying to close the achievement gap,” said Superintendent Connie Hathorn. “We’re trying not to create one.”

Chaney opened this school year as a Visual and Performing Arts and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math school for students in sixth through 12th grades. Students have to audition and or be interviewed to be selected to attend.

Chaney students who are on academic probation will make up all of the work that wasn’t acceptable during the previous grading period, and they’ll remain in the probation program until all of that work is made up with satisfactory grades.

When they achieve a satisfactory grade, the incomplete will be changed to a C.

“The highest they can get is a C, Gozur said.

If a student doesn’t attend the tutoring sessions, they will be removed from Chaney VPA/STEM.

Those on probation must raise their grade at least one letter grade for the next grade period or remain on probation. Two consecutive probational periods will trigger a meeting among the student, parent, teachers and program coordinator to determine if the student is enrolled in the appropriate educational placement, according to the school’s policy.

The after-school tutoring is conducted from 3 to 5 p.m. Bus rides home for students will be provided.

All other VPA/STEM/athletic activities will be second to the probation program, the policy says.

Chaney VPA/STEM students and parents agreed to an extended day upon enrollment at the school.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I like Connie's approach to the problem at Chaney. Excellent incentive for these students to improve their academic performance. Unfortunately, he can't fix the root cause poverty and lack of family moral educational values from their parents.

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2Education_Voter(1157 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's my concern. These kids already went through an extended admissions process.

It skimmed the cream off of the other middle school populations for this school.

Now the other middle schools are working hard to maintain their previous levels with fewer student leaders.

So now Chaney, in addition to the parochial schools and charter schools, will toss failing students back to their home schools while claiming to be educationally superior.

Why "home" school? Because as Robert Frost said, "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."

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3jonnyquest(20 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Just a couple corrections to Education_Voter's comments. The Chaney STEM/VPA school didn't skim the cream off the other middle schools. There is still plenty of "cream" in the other middle schools as well as at East High School. Not all of "the cream" applied to Chaney. We have regular kids at Chaney whose parents want to take advantage of an opportunity for learning for their child. Chaney students are starting to realize they are in a new environment where faiilure is not an option. Chaney teachers are committed to inspiring, pushing, and working as partners with our students to help them begin to achieve academically. I realize people who post here on Vindy articles are mostly pessimistic people. But, we all should be happy that Youngstown City Schools offers a STEM/VPA experience open to students who would like to challenge themselves.

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4southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

That is a great idea, but most likely will not set well with parents.

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5Education_Voter(1157 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

You kind of contradict yourself in your own post.

If the other schools also have high performing students, then the rest of your comment would apply to those schools as well.

For the record, in the other schools, failure truly is not an option. However as the article and your comments indicate, students at Chaney can choose to fail, or perhaps will not have the ability to pass.

I'm just saying that Chaney should take ownership for its students.

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