By Alicia Ratzlow
Monticello Middle School
Roughly five years ago, the Monticello Middle School introduced an after-school program designed to help students academically as well as to develop better organizational and social skills.
This program is called The Zone and, to this day, continues to focus on the academic success of sixth through eighth grade students at Monticello Middle School.
Students may be referred for the program by parents, teachers or community agencies due to academic or social concerns.
Students are supported by staff to meet goals as specified by an individualized Continual Learning Plan comprised of student-specific areas of need. Recently, one seventh grade student who attends The Zone regularly remarked on how much going to the Zone has helped her academically. She stated that “going to The Zone helps me keep up with my classes and, when I have a question, I can ask one of the teachers there.”
Other students in the program have reported that having a quiet work environment with textbooks, computers, calculators, books and writing utensils available at The Zone is helpful in their continued success.
In addition to the academic portion of The Zone, daily recreational activities are included which are designed to promote social skills and focus on good sportsmanship, being a team player, having fun and building friendships along the way.
The overall concept of the program is to focus on student success and building relationships with others. Completing homework assignments helps students take responsibility for their education and be held accountable for their own success. The Zone staff work hard each week to provide students with an optimal learning environment that establishes routine and helps encourage motivation and success.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by the Monticello Middle School Public Relations Committee. Alicia Ratzlow is a speech/language pathologist and past staff member of The Zone.