Power Hour

Emily Roberts, Journalist

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What do little kids want most in school? The ability to wear whatever goofy or stylish hats they want, and more time to hang out with their friends. What have we recently implemented at Pahrump Valley High School? A free hat day and an hour-long lunch.

  Almost half of the students at PVHS are failing (or have a “D”) in one or more of their classes. With little tutoring available during the school day, many students find it difficult to get help before or after school due to a lack of access into the building or a ride home from school.

  As a result, Mrs. Ehrhart developed a reward program. Every student that does not have any D’s or failing any classes will receive an hour-long lunch to do as they please. Those with unsatisfactory grades will be sent to the said class to be tutored, make up missed tests, or even just turn in late work.

  Juniors and seniors are allowed to leave during lunch, as usual. However, since the underclassmen also have that same lunch period, any lower classmen that leave during lunch along with an upperclassmen driver will be restricted from attending the next Power Hour.

  That does not leave the underclassmen to an hour of boredom. Many clubs are meeting so that they can get better attendance, and many activities are provided (such as open gym and guest speakers). To prevent excessive fighting from breaking out, Mrs. Ehrhart has implemented a “free hat day” for every 14 days without a scuffle.

  However, many teachers have differing opinions on Power Hour. Because it takes away more class time (from our already-shortened periods because of the later start time), many teachers believe that it is ineffective. It could make the students that are succeeding struggle because of the shortened lessons, and those that are failing could find it more difficult to keep up during the actual class.

  On the other hand, many teachers love the opportunity to tutor kids one-on-one. In classes such as Ceramics or Calculus, the ability to spend extra time on time-intensive projects or personal lessons for hard subjects can make all the difference for a struggling student.

  Students have differing opinions on it, too. Some students love having long lunches, or adversely enjoy the opportunity for tutoring. Others, however, find the shortened class periods incredibly annoying and inconvenient because it detracts from the lesson time. This can increase the amount of homework or even prevent a student from understanding the material at all.

  Everyone has different opinions on this Power Hour, but the intention is undeniably good. It will take time to figure out exactly what works, but as of now, it seems like it really is helping.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Power Hour”

  1. Bobbie Benbo on January 19th, 2018 8:17 am

    This article is really well written. I like that you did mention that the intention of Power Hour is good even if there are still working out kinks. Good job 🙂

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  2. Chris on January 19th, 2018 8:44 am

    Solid article, although I feel that harsher action should be taken on those who have reoccurring D’s and F’s and as such, the students whose living conditions or health is affecting their ability to learn or attend classes should be accommodated, and as for those who have nothing limiting their ability to succeed, they should be moved to a different learning environment (e.g. Pathways) entirely if alternative actions prove that their interest in school is minuscule at best. Perhaps the power hour is keeping some heads above the crushing waves, although this system is carrying those who do not deserve the free education they have been given; too many times have I personally met a peer that belittles their attendance and effort at this school, and time and time again, I see these same people breezing through school, whereas those in all AP classes are suffering and the saddest part of all is that these people who put in little to no effort will be carried by the school system to graduating with the same degree as someone who has worked hard throughout their entire high school career.

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  3. Ayah Khatib on January 19th, 2018 8:48 am

    Power Hour has helped me a lot, especially in math. It gives students and teachers more time for a one on one style of teaching for kids who struggle in certain subjects.

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  4. Paige Powell on January 19th, 2018 1:50 pm

    I like how this article provides the pros and cons of Power Hour. I always looked at the negatives, instead of considering Power Hour as a way to assist students.
    However, I think you should have included some quotes from students and teachers rather than just a summary of what students think. I think it would be nice to hear directly from students and teachers.
    Overall, this is a well written article. Great job!

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  5. Emanuel Ribeiro-Reyes on January 19th, 2018 2:02 pm

    The article gives a great insight on the positive aspects Power Hour has on a school that doesn’t have many options to improve a student’s abilities. While it may be a hassle for students to take time out of their time with friends in lunch, it also gives students a great opportunity to recover their grades and obtain their credits. Overall, Power Hour is a positive attempt by the school to increase graduation rates for students.

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Power Hour