Homework den guiding students along right path

Student+taking+time+to+do+work

Kamerin Maddix

Student taking time to do work

You are sitting in class, listening intently, just before the bell rings you are given a homework assignment, but you still are not understanding all that was taught that day.
So, how are you supposed to complete the homework if you are already confused? Most students have been in this situation before.
Homework Den provides resources for students, both virtually and in person, to get that extra help to stay on track and be successful.
Homework Den is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3-4 pm in the LMC or through google classroom and zoom. The program started five years ago in an effort to help students stay on track in school.
“A lot of kiddos needed just a bit of extra help to finish various assignments, so we started inviting them to come to the LMC for us to help them,” Student Services teacher Kara Patrick said.
When homework den first started the teachers helping noticed that the students attending needed more than just the homework help so it needed it go beyond that.
“We also noticed that many students needed one-on-one help with organizing folders and backpacks as well as access to textbooks. Oftentimes, students had work completed but it was just lost in their backpack just waiting to be turned in,” Patrick said.
This program has helped members of the student body not only with academics but with life long skills that they will need in the future.
“Homework Den was really there when I needed that little extra help to catch up in a class, and there were not that many kids that came so you could really get that one on one help. I feel like it helped me prepare a little for my years after high school, helping me be more organized, ” RHS alumni Steven Daw said.
Anywhere from 10-20 students attend at a time but the current freshmen are just now getting a taste of what Homework Den really offers and how the program can help them start high school strong and keep them on track in their classes.
“I’ve only been to Homework Den once but it was a good thing to experience and help me adjust to the high school environment a little better,” freshman Ava Harrell said.
RHS teachers are the ones organizing and running Homework Den, and teachers from a variety of subjects are the ones that attend to help students during this program.
“At the beginning of the year, the principals asked for teachers that might want to help out after school. We have four shifts to fill and now we offer Homework Den virtually, so we needed a couple more teachers…,” Patrick said. “…A lot of the teachers are in the Student Services Department, so they co-teach in just about every class that is offered here at RHS. This means they have seen just about every assignment that teachers assign, making it easy to help.”
Last year, with students being in all different situations with some being virtual or in person, it made it a little more difficult for students to get that extra help, but that help was needed even more. So, the Homework Den offered assistance through Zoom. That opportunity ended up helping students so they decided to offer both in person and virtual this year.
“Last year, for most of the year, we could not have in-person, so we started the Zoom sessions. At one point, Homework Den was only available in person twice a week, when we were running Blue and Gold Group days,” Patrick said.
This year is a little more normal but RHS still has WAVE students who do not come into the building. The Homework Den coordinators wanted to be sure they were available for those students as well. The program has a main goal of offering a safe, quiet space where students can work on their homework either by themselves or with the help of a teacher in a one-on-one or small group situation.
“All the teachers that help out are very nice, fun and approachable – making getting work done fairly painless,” Patrick said.