Pineville High School has implemented a student mentoring program that leaders believe will help increase test scores, as well as improving the overall student experience at the school.
Pineville High School Principal Bill Keyes said the school wanted to find a way to reach struggling students. Twenty-nine students were identified by the staff for the program.
Each high school staff member and some central office staff are assigned a student with which to work. Some staff members actually took two children to assist.
Mentors meet with the students weekly, making regular contact with their parents, he said.
Keyes said all the students in the mentoring program struggle with just academics. He stated some of them struggle with attendance and other issues as well.
The mentors are there to talk with teachers, help the student benefit from tutoring, make sure the student goes to tutoring, find out reasons why the student misses school and many other tasks.
Keyes said the main goal for the mentoring program is to improve student performance, but also help students with other issues they may have at the same time.
“One of the things I’m most proud of with this school is we’re a family, and I can honestly say we are 100 percent about the kids,” said Keyes.
According to Keyes, the school has always done a good job with test scores. He said he hopes the mentoring program is another way to continue to improve those scores.
“We are trying anyway we can to improve (the students’) school experience, and in the process improve their test scores,” said Keyes.
Keyes said he believes the program has been successful since it started three weeks ago, but he won’t know how effective until they receive new test scores. He plans to extend the program each year if test scores show the program works.
“The ideal situation is… maybe every teacher has 10 kids that they are responsible for,” said Keyes. “It’s not like a homeroom. These will be 10 kids that they will contact their parents weekly, meet with them individually weekly and see individually what (the student) needs.”
Overall, Keyes said the students are responding well to the program.
“They are excited to have an adult here that they can go talk to about anything,” said Keyes.
Keyes added that during a volunteer safety audit last year, 84 students were surveyed about staff at the school. All of the students replied there was an adult in the school they could trust.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.