If you haven’t met him yet, the new principal at Red River High School is J C Dickey. He came from the Bossier Parish School system. The Journal sat down with Dickey this week to talk about some of the changes parents and students will see when they come to class next Wednesday.
Dickey says the biggest changes involve new times for the school day to begin and end, one uniform lunch hour, the elimination of the afternoon break, and a new third block.
School will begin daily at 7:50. Busses will unload at 7:20 am to get students to campus in time for breakfast. School will dismiss at 3:14 pm. Dickey said they adjusted the daily schedule for better use of time within the school day.
The new “WIN Block” will be the biggest change in instruction. Dickey said, “WIN is ‘Whatever I Need’ and will be a 40 minute session following second block daily. It is designed as an extra state test prep course for students facing state testing. For Freshmen the WIN period will focus on English I and Algebra I. Sophomores will use the block for extra work in English II and Biology. Juniors get extra ACT prep work and also extra work in English and math. Seniors will use the WIN block for ACT Work Keys and also for 100% compliance with FAFSA requirements. FAFSA is now required to graduate in Louisiana.
Dickey says students will notice facility upgrades to the quadrangle. “There will be new picnic tables for students to eat lunch outside if they want to.” And Dickey said “there will be new benches for kids to hang out also.”
Accountability will be emphasized. Dickey said “We need to be sure we are pushing students in the right areas to get them the knowledge they need to succeed. My team this year will focus on every student.” He added, “We will be tracking them to see which students need remedial instruction and also to find the ones who need advanced instruction.”
Advanced Placement or AP instruction is coming back to Red River High. Principal Dickey said for this year funding is available to get students to take the CLEP test, which allows high school students to get college course credit. During the year, teachers of advanced courses will be prepared and certified to teach Advanced Placement courses that will be offered beginning in the fall of 2018.
Now through August 8th faculty and staff are going through four days of preparation for the school year. Students return next Wednesday August 9th. Dickey added, “We are adopting a ‘no student fails’ mentality. The focus will be on whatever it takes to make every student successful.”