by Mike Knaak
Sartell High School students will have an additional opportunity to keep up with their studies and make progress toward graduation, thanks to a new, expanded program.
Starting in December, ninth- through 12th graders will be able to attend “Night School,” from 4-6 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For years, juniors and seniors could participate in SAIL – Sartell Area Incentive Learning, but Night School adds the younger students and will be taught in-house instead of in cooperation with the St. Cloud school district.
“We looked at the numbers and identified the need,” Principal Sascha Hansen said.
Disruptions to traditional learning caused by the pandemic highlighted the need. After starting the school year in a mix of learning models, all Sartell-St. Stephen students will be distance learning through at least Jan. 8.
“With the amount of students we recognized fourth quarter last year and this year after first quarter, we asked how can we get more of our kids back on track,” Hansen said.
Courses offered will be determined by student need but are expected to include core subjects such as English, algebra, world history, biology, human geography, probability and statistics and physical education.
The Night School classes, conducted online initially, will feature smaller class sizes, eight to 10 students, as well as more individualized instruction.
To identify students who need academic help, the high school has paired administrators with counselors to reach out to families where students are missing school or getting behind on assignments.
The goal, Hansen said, is to have 100 percent of seniors earn enough credits for graduation.
“We want to come up with ways, so kids don’t have this deep hole they can’t dig out of,” Hansen said. “We want them to have the opportunity to graduate on time with their peers.”