Project Open Door (POD) FAQs

Who can come to POD?
Any student at Henkle Middle School can come to POD, but regular attendance (at least 30 days/year) is required for those who are committed to becoming "members" and who have access to special activities and services.  Consistent attendance has been found to increase academic gains, so students who have yet to pass state tests, or need other academic assistance are encouraged to make a strong attendance commitment.

Is there a cost to attend POD?
No - due to the grants and funding sources in place at this time, there is no cost for attendance. We want ALL students who would like to attend to do so without worrying about expenses or fees they may not be able to afford. There may be  fees for special events or classes, but every attempt is made to secure scholarship sources for each and every offering of cost.

Is attendance every day required?
No it is not. We do expect that when you register for clubs or classes on specific days of the week, you will regularly attend on the days you chose until the activity ends.. Activity Leaders and study hall staff appreciate notification of absences.

We DO expect at LEAST 30 days attendance over the course of a year, beginning with POD's "Project Summer Fun" program in the summer before the school year begins. As a matter of fact, agreeing to attend POD after school is a requirement to be eligible to enroll in the summer program.

Flexibility is a strength of our program, so if you are participating in another extra-curricular activity during a specific time (i.e. school or community sport team) just let us know and we will help you plan your calendar to include POD at least 30 days during the year. Special arrangements for partial day attendance can also be made. So if you can only come for the first or last hour of POD, please let us know - we will customize a schedule for you!

How do you register for POD?
Completing a single registration form for the year is all it takes. This form will ask you after-school emergency numbers and will also clarify transportation and release instructions (i.e. who is authorized to pick up a student). You will also be asked to indicate your commitment to regular attendance as a condition of enrollment in the program.

Activity calendars are made available regularly to members. If there are special events or sessions that require fees, or that occur during academic time, parent/guardian signatures and permission will be required.

Is there transportation available?
With the end of the 21stCCLC grant this summer, transportation services may not be an option.  Further details will be posted soon. 

What do you do at POD?
Each day at POD begins with a snack and Study Hall. 5th, 6th and 7/8th graders all have different locations that they report to. All students are welcome to attend these sessions, After students sign in with a check next to their name on a roster, they are asked to get our their planners or planning sheets and plan their work for the day. Staff who work during the school day are on hand with the knowledge, materials and supplies students need to complete their work. Staff is also prepared with academic enrichment materials and activities. This could be using puzzle sheets, flash cards, dice, fraction pieces or other materials to practice adding and subtracting fractions if that was an area of need for a student.
Member students may also participate in an Academic Intervention like Math Whizz or Read Naturally during this time. At the end of study hall time member students are given stars for their Star Chart for being prepared, being focused and productive and exibiting citizenship. These stars could earn an array of prizes from a small "treasure chest" item to a reserved table for 4 at lunch, a first in lunch line pass, or other excellent reward!

After stars are recorded at the end of study hall,  Clubs and Academic Enrichment Activities may begin in other locations in the school for. Academic Enrichments are hands-on, engaging activities that have specific classroom curriculum or state standards embedded in them. For example, in Rocketry, various forms of energy are discussed using the same vocabulary being used in the classroom FOSS science kits. As students began to engineer and test their rockets, they practiced the same language and processes presented in class. Academic Enrichments are designed in this way to allow engaging previews or review of classroom units to reinforce understanding and mastery. Clubs may relate to arts, physical fitness, hobbies, leadership or other areas. What they all reinforce are cooperative, creative, leadership and communicative skills.

At the end of the session or sessions attended each day, students are required to wait in the library until they see their ride - they are not allowed to wait outside the building for accountability and safety purposes. Staff is on-hand until students are safely on their way - please pick up your student promptly after their session.

What is Math Whizz?
Math Whizz is an online math tutoring program. For students who need a "boost" in math concepts or skills, Math Whizz may be an excellent Academic Intervention. It will be offered through the first semester of the coming year. Many teachers offer extra-credit, or homework credit for participation in this program.

Are there other Academic Interventions at POD?
Yes, Read Naturally, another strong intervention is used at POD. Fluency, comprehension and retell are all stressed in this model. For those who struggle with reading and writing, this program is designed to accelerate growth. As with Math Whizz, some teachers offer extra credit or other homework "trades" to allow POD time to be used for Academic Intervention rather than traditional homework help.

How do I find out more about POD?
Stop by Henkle Middle School office and visit the POD bulletin board for calendars, forms and information.

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