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New program helps Bayfield Middle School students get caught up with missing assignments

‘Zeros Aren’t Permitted,’ also known as ZAP, launched in late January
Bayfield Middle School launched a new program called “Zeroes Aren’t Permitted,” also known as ZAP. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield Middle School wants to help students who may be behind on their assignments get caught up in the classroom.

Principal Marcia Hoerl unveiled a new program called “Zeroes Aren’t Permitted,” also known as ZAP, as part of a greater effort to target missing assignments that may be holding students back, according to a news release on the Bayfield School District’s website.

If missing assignments begin to mount, a student will be referred to ZAP, which launched in late January, by their teacher to spend Tuesday and Thursday or that week getting up to speed. The timeframe for each ZAP day will be 3:10 to 3:45 p.m., per the release.

Support staff will be on hand during those sessions to help students complete and hand in missing assignments.

“We were asking why we were seeing so many zeroes, even for kids who were in class,” Hoerl said in the release, although a possible explanation for that was not given. “That hole can get deep if you’ve got three classes where you’re missing three assignments.”

The school looks to use ZAP to not only identify students who have fallen behind, but also discover why they are behind and give them time to catch up, according to the release.

“It’s not always going to be the kid who is at grade level. We may be asking students to write a lengthy paper, and their skill level might not be there yet,” Hoerl said, adding the students will be able to work another teacher to help develop a fresh perspective on the issue at hand. “It is another teacher who does not believe they’ve exhausted everything with a student. Sometimes it just takes one other person to say things differently for something to click.”

During Monday team meetings, each grade level identifies five students who would benefit from the program that week, the release said.

The program represents a districtwide emphasis on continuous improvement this year.


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