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Morristown Central School considers expanding opportunity room

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MORRISTOWN — Morristown Central School District may expand a program, instituted earlier this month, designed to help students stay on top of their coursework.

The opportunity room program, started by Principal Jeffrey M. Durant, works with students in grades three through nine who are underperforming by keeping them after school on Thursdays and providing a productive work space.

Board of Education member Shawn R. Macaulay said he has heard from several people in the community who want to see the program expand to include the entire high school.

Mr. Durant said the district had hoped high school students would be self-motivated enough to avoid having to take advantage of the program, but agreed it could be expanded. Under the current structure, the program is expected to cost $4,500 for the year, and Superintendent David J. Glover said expanding it to include high school students would cost about $750 more.

The estimated price tag is a result of the cost of paying teachers to stay after school for the additional instruction time.

On Wednesdays, teachers give Mr. Durant a list of students who are missing homework assignments or who are generally falling behind.

Once the list is compiled, the school contacts parents to inform them about the opportunity room program in an effort to enlist parental support for keeping the students after school.

Mr. Durant said about 15 students have used the opportunity room so far.

With members of the board of education expressing an interest in expanding the program, Mr. Durant said, he will find out how much demand there is for the opportunity room at the high school level from teachers and students.

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