The Pros of Cougar Time

Positive aspects of the twice-a-week remediation period

In order to help students reach their full academic potential, Kettle Run introduced the Cougar Block, now known as “Cougar Time”. Cougar Block is held every Tuesday and Thursday and provides students with 45 minutes of remediation or extra time to review complicated class work.

In order to make time for the new 45 minute block, homeroom is removed and five minutes is shaved off each of the four class blocks. Cougar Block rotates from week to week. The first week of the month, students return to first block for Cougar Block. The second week of the month, students stay in second block for Cougar Block, and so on and so forth.

Only those students who need remediation for an SOL, or who have a D or an F in one of their classes, are given a pass to attend remediation. Students who are passing their classes must stay in the assigned Cougar Block.

To clarify, teachers are not allowed to introduce new material during this Cougar Block, but assignments based on curriculum that has already been introduced, are fair game.

This extra 45 minutes could end up being crucial to students who are struggling to maintain a passing grade in one of their classes. Not only do they get to spend time in classes that are the most difficult, but they also have the chance to receive one-on-one help from their teachers. The combination of these two things might mean that any number of struggling students may be able to piece together enough of the content to earn a passing score, not only in the class, but also on their SOL.

As for those students who are not in need of any particular remediation, this extension is not essentially a troublesome situation. Although they do not get to choose where they spend that time, throughout the course of a month, every student will have spent an extra 90 minutes of review in all four classes. During these extra minutes, students are being gifted the opportunity to take their education into their own hands. If they aren’t failing, but need some clarification in a certain subject, they are being given the chance to review the material before they are tested on it.

As an alternative addition to the remediation period, perhaps in order to make the time more beneficial to those students who are currently passing their classes, ideas have been floating around about administration opening up the option to choose which class passing students would like to have more help with. This could potentially be a more enriching opportunity, unless students decided to go to the class that has the most of their friends in it and spend the time bettering their social lives instead of bettering their education, which is ultimately the true purpose for the added “class period”.

As for those students who find this extension to their schedule a waste of time, perhaps they should consider using this time in a more productive way for their next classes.