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Prepared by Casey Hamlin

President, Town of Webb Student Council


Core Four - A forward-thinking plan to fix MASSH for the future

INTRODUCTION
The Mandatory After-School Study Hall (MASSH) program is fundamentally broken. That
is the sentiment held by a vast majority of the student body, the parents of this
community, and the community itself. And yet, any and all attempts for reform, including
some of the provisions set forth in this plan, have been shut down by the Administration
and the Child Study Team [CST].

As a representative of the student body and a student myself, I find this lack of willingness
to seriously look at a reformed, forward-looking MASSH program troubling. This is why
after much work behind the scenes with students, former students and members of the
community, I am announcing the Core Four plan to reform the program so that students
get more out of it as opposed to now, where a majority of students have reported playing
games, watching movies, or just generally goofing off during MASSH instead of doing
work.

This plan will allow for MASSH to feel much less like a detention and more like an
opportunity to grow as a student and as an individual. It will ensure that at least one
teacher from four of the most commonly failed and most important subjects, the Four
Core, will always be available to subjects during MASSH times. And it will ensure that as
students become more productive at MASSH, they will spend less time there so that they
can engage fully in the extracurricular activities that shape what kind of person they will
be throughout the journey of their lives.

This plans provisions are also not the be-all-end-all. There is plenty of room for
negotiations with Administrators, students, parents, the Child Study Team and our
community as a whole to ensure that the provisions in any plan to reform MASSH truly
benefit the school community not only for those of us in the system right now, but for
those in our younger grades or those who havent joined the Eskimo family yet.

We should not stifle the ability of our students to succeed in academics, that much is
certain. But we also should cease stifling their success in the arts, in athletics, and in their
life outside of school, which will shape who they are far beyond the time they leave the
building for the last time. This plan will accomplish that and will ensure that future
generations of Eskimos have limitless opportunities to pursue their goals and ambitions
while still retaining their academic strength.
That
is what Core Four is about.

-Casey Hamlin

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Core Four - A forward-thinking plan to fix MASSH for the future

WHAT ARE THE CORE FOUR?


The Core Four subjects are the four broad academic areas that make up a students core
education. The Core Four are:
ELA - English Language Arts comprises of all classes involving English, grammar, writing
and reading including but not limited to English 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and College
English/English 12.
MATHEMATICS - Mathematics comprises of all classes involving mathematics including
but not limited to Basic Algebra, Integrated Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry, Calculus, and
College Statistics.
SCIENCE - Science comprises of all classes involving physical or natural sciences including
but not limited to Earth Science, Living Environment, AP Biology, AP Environmental,
Chemistry and Physics.
SOCIAL STUDIES - Social Studies consists of all classes involving government, history, or
economics including Social Studies 8, Global History, US History and Government,
Government, Economics, AP Government, and Sociology.
Each of the Core Four have several teachers teaching individualized courses for students
of different age levels and for different subsects of the general area (ie physical vs. natural
sciences).

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WHERE DO THE CORE FOUR COME INTO PLAY?
In our survey of students, not a single respondent described it as easy to schedule an
after-school appointment with all of their teachers, even on their MASSH days. To solve
this pressing issue, the Core Four plan recommends that at least one teacher representing
each of the Core Four subject areas stays after school for each of the four MASSH days
per week.
This will ensure that a teacher that teaches science, a teacher that teaches mathematics, a
teacher that teaches social studies, and a teacher that teaches ELA will be in the building
during student MASSH time. Teachers can alternate day by day, ensuring that at some
point in the week, all grade levels and classes in a particular Core Four area are covered
for those students who need assistance in those classes.
This does not keep students from scheduling time with a specific teacher on a specific day
should that teacher be willing to do so. It simply guarantees that these teachers are
available for students by default rather than leaving it to the student to set up an
appointment.

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Core Four - A forward-thinking plan to fix MASSH for the future

SHORTEN THE DAYS

As a result of this plan, the productivity of students within the MASSH program will likely
increase. As such, I recommend that the Administration lessen the length of a MASSH day
to one hour for students only failing one class.

The reduction in time that students spend in MASSH will allow them to spend more time
enjoying staying fit through athletics, expressing themselves in the arts, socializing with
either their friends or a club at the school and simply spending more time with their
families.

Of course there are some students who need to utilize the Districts transportation
options and thus would have to remain on campus until 5pm, resulting in a two hour
MASSH day. In that case, students who stay one night for two hours will have served two
weeks worth of MASSH and will not have to come in the next week. This, again, is if the
student is only failing one class.

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RESTRICT THE RESTRICTIONS

Currently, students on the MASSH program are not allowed to leave study hall unless
they are going to receive academic help with a teacher. This enhances the sentiment that
MASSH is simply a punishment on students, and quite frankly these restrictions serve
very little practical purpose. As the cliche goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you
cant make it drink. The same applies to keeping students in study hall. You can keep them
there, but theres little guarantee (and little chance) that they will actually do work.

Under this plan, restrictions would remain in place for those failing more than one class.
And for Seniors, they would still have their senior privileges revoked while failing any
amount of classes. But those only failing one class, including Seniors, would now be able to
visit any classroom, the gymnasium, the library, the vocal/instrumental music rooms, and
any other place where they could expand their academic, artistic and physical horizons.

As said above, restrictions dont work. What works instead is allowing students to spend
their study halls how they feel they need to just as long as they are using the time to grow

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Core Four - A forward-thinking plan to fix MASSH for the future

themselves as a person.

IN CONCLUSION

MASSH is a program that was developed and enacted with the best of intentions.
However, the meaning of the program has been lost to the very students it is meant to
help and the parents of those students. When the message is muddled as it is now, this
leaves the program as an ineffective punishment for not doing well in school. MASSH does
not motivate students to do better in the long run or to actually learn the material, it
simply teaches them to do whatever it takes to get a passing grade.

I believe that the plans outlined in this plan would benefit the program, and thus the
students of the Town of Webb UFSD, greatly. I look forward to being an active part of the
process of delivering a better, more effective MASSH to our students, and I look forward
to seeing a new, reformed MASSH enacted in the near future.

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These policies and this report were prepared by President of the Town of Webb Student Council Casey
Hamlin with assistance from Daniel Stefanko, Chairman of the Hamlin and Stefanko Administrative
Accountability Commission. Hamlin commends Student Council Rep. Cy Barkauskas for his ideas on
teacher allocation on MASSH days for serving as a basis for the Core Four plan.

This plan was created independently of the Town of Webb Student Council, the Town of Webb Union
Free School District, the Child Study Team and the Hamlin and Stefanko Administrative Accountability
Commission and makes no claim to represent the views of these or any other organizations.