Students taking advantage of Brixner, Henley after-school opportunities

For most students, the seventh-period bell signifies the end of the school day. At Brixner Junior High and Henley Middle School, however, students now have the option to stay and receive extra help from their teachers on homework and assignments.

Everett Robinson-Miller, a Brixner seventh grader, stayed after school last week to work on history, studying classical-era Crete and Greece. This is his fourth time taking advantage of the After-School Homework Help program.

Brixner social studies teacher Amanda Spencer, who worked with Everett and the other students that day, says the program helps them stay on track.

“It gives them a good opportunity to catch up,” she said. “They have a quiet space to work and access to most teachers.”

Henley and Brixner started their after-school tutoring programs last year but had to stop in March when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools. The programs resumed Jan. 25 with the return of in-person hybrid instruction.

So far, more than 20 Brixner students and seven Henley students have utilized the help. Leslie Garrett, Brixner’s principal, believes the program is needed and promising for the future.

“It’s providing support for struggling kids and helping families out too,” she said. “The kids really like it. We’re keeping track of them and collecting data for future trends.”

Kristine Creed, principal at Henley Middle School, started the program with a similar goal.

“We desire for all students to experience academic success,” she said. “We can’t take a cookie-cutter approach with every student. Some students understand concepts the first go-around, and some students do better one-on-one with a tutor.”

Both schools offer snacks to the students while they work, such as fruit, crackers, and Capri Suns. Brixner also has an activity bus that provides transportation home after the program.

Alicia Ramirez, another Brixner student, spent time last week working on her English homework, and more importantly, her peanut butter crackers.

“It gives me a good learning environment, and I like the food,” she said.

Alicia Ramirez, a seventh-grader at Brixner Junior High School, concentrates on her English, with her peanut-butter crackers and other snacks within reach.

Everett Robinson-Miller, a seventh-grader at Brixner Junior High School, focuses on studying the island of Crete on his school-provided Chromebook.

Gabriella Henderson, a seventh-grader at Brixner Junior High School, types on her Chromebook while working on her assignments.

Kamron Heckenlively does his homework during Brixner Junior High School’s after-school homework help program.