Students use break to get caught up

Dozens of Marshalltown High School students are using their spring break to get caught up on work and not hone their video game skills.

For the second year in a row, MHS has opened its academic success center during the break to get that extra time in for students. Many are making up tests, quizzes and assignments during this time and also have some tutoring help from teachers and other staff.

“Last year we had 40 to 45 kids, and it looks like we’ll probably have the same amount this year,” said MHS teacher Erin Weatherly. “A lot of kids need that one, two or three extra assignments to get a passing grade, and this has been really helpful.”

Weatherly will try to lure the students to the spring break studying sessions with food and cappuccino.

“We know that where there’s food there’s usually kids,” Weatherly said.

The program is similar to the Saturday Breakfast and Books program at the high school, which runs throughout the school year.

One student working Tuesday was junior Shantel Jensen, 16, who was catching up on some work.

“I’m here to make sure I keep my grades up,” Jensen said.

Weatherly credited the students for realizing they need to catch up and sacrificing their spring break for learning.

“It’s impressive that they are willing to be here,” Weatherly said.

She planned on seeing many seniors this week since graduation is on the horizon, and many are feeling the pressure to get their work done on time.

“The kids are willing to come in to get them closer to the finish line,” Weatherly said.

The spring break and Saturday program is paid for by a Gear Up federal grant. The spring break studying sessions continue from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Thursday at MHS.