The Covid-19 interruption of normal school activities means summer learning opportunities in Hobbs will be stepped up. In addition, the Hobbs Online Learning Academy (HOLA) designed for an entire district of at-home learners will remain in place next year for a small group of students who found they excelled at independent study.
Hobbs High School will offer a traditional credit recovery summer school. Elementary students will also have a chance to catch up on missed or failing school work, according to administrators who said students who are behind in course work will be contacted via email or a phone call with registration information.
In addition, the district’s three middle schools and the Freshman High School will offer three full weeks of summer instruction paired with hands-on learning activities and other classes. And elementary school students who aren’t necessarily behind but would like to be involved with regular course work as well as STEM activities will have a chance to sign up once the district gets a handle on participation.
“We want kids to learn how to have fun in school again,” said FHS Principal Lana Weldy. “We’ll be refreshing instruction in math, English and core subjects from this school year, but we’re also going to give our incoming students a preview of what’s to come in their freshman year and help them get acquainted with the layout of the building and school traditions.”
That includes band students teaching 9th-graders dance moves to “The Jungle,” a HHS crowd favorite at football games and pep rallies. Students will also have a chance to design and produce a T-shirt. “At the end of the camp, we will vote on which will be the official Class of 2025 T-shirt,” Weldy explained.
In another setting, students will learn data analysis skills, science clues and team-building activities to solve mysteries including the disappearance of the school mascot.Scheduled from June 7 through June 25, the FHS CSI Eagles camp will follow a regular school schedule from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Breakfast and lunch will be served and bus transportation may also be arranged, according to Weldy.
The academy will be staffed by FHS teachers. Safety protocols – which by June may or may not include RUVNA screenings and mask wearing – will be observed.
“Our 8th-graders missed so much school earlier this year that we want to give them a chance to catch up and get back into the regular pace of school,” Weldy said. “This will give them a fun way to do that.” (Parents of incoming freshmen students should already have received emailed information regarding CSI FHS Eagles. If you didn’t receive an email or need more information, please call the FHS at 433-0300).
Ron Haggerton, Highland principal and one of the organizers of the middle school’s Eagle Scholars Academy, agrees that students need to get back into the routine of learning while also enjoying themselves.
“The Eagle Scholars Academy is a chance for middle school students from all three campuses to review instruction from the just-completed year while getting a head start on upcoming classes,” Haggerton said. “Many of the activities will be so much fun, students won’t realize they are learning.”
Some of those activities will include mock-trials with students playing the parts of lawyers and defendants, short-film analysis, sidewalk chalk art and graphic novel reading.
Like the FHS, the Eagles Scholar Academy will follow a regular school schedule from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. June 7 through June 25. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
The Academy, which will have a variety of teachers from across the district, is open to any student who will be in 6th through 8th grade at Highland, Houston or Heizer next year. Bus transportation will be provided for some students. (Parents should already have received emailed information regarding the academy. If you didn’t receive an email or need more information, please call Highland at 433-1200).
In addition to summer schools, HMS will offer daily online activities to keep student minds’ sharp.Beginning June 1, HMS will publish a calendar containing links to videos, games, career paths and other age-appropriate pursuits, according to Wendy Haggerton, an HMS technology specialist.The calendar will be available in Spanish and will have multiple options for different grade levels (Kindergarten through 1st; 2nd and 3rd; 4th and 5th; 6th-8th; 9th-12th). No sign in will be necessary. Students need only click on a link to navigate to the activities.
“We want to keep kids stimulated,” Haggerton explained. “We’re going to have a combination of all subjects with a wide variety of activities. Some of it will be giving students a preview of new concepts in math and science that they will be learning in the coming school year and some of it will be, ‘Hey, let’s play this game,’ and they won’t even know they are learning. It’s also a great thing for parents who their kids to keep engaged during the summer.”
In the meantime, Hobbs High School Online Academy (HOLA) Principal LaShawn Byrd said one of the educational reforms put in place to cope with COVID-19 is now permanent. HOLA was created when HMS went to 100-percent remote learning and remained that way for many grades until March.
“We learned that we have a small group of students who are very successful at independent learning and perhaps do even better if they are able to work from home at their own pace,” said Byrd said.
As a result, students in every grade will be offered the opportunity to re-enroll in HOLA in the upcoming school year.
However, students must qualify based on current attendance and grades. “All applicants must have good attendance for the current school year and no failing grades in any class,” Byrd said. At the secondary level, HOLA applicants must be within two credits of their scheduled course work.Parental support is also another important component.
“We know that students need family guidance and help – especially at the elementary level – to stay on schedule and succeed,” Byrd said.
Edgenuity will again be the platform for secondary students while an online curriculum that aligns more closely with New Mexico standards will replace Pathblazer.
As was the case this year, students will be assigned an HMS teacher supervisor who will be available for email questions and issues. However, there will be no concurrent zoom instruction next year at the secondary level and all learning will be self paced.
Like any regular HMS student, HOLA students will be eligible for extracurricular activities including sports, choir and band. In addition, students will have access to a school-issued laptop.
“Moving forward, we decided that we need to offer more options – just like Early College High School or dual credit courses,” Byrd said. “We learned from this year that there are some kids who are very successful at independent learning and we want to do everything we can to give students one more path to graduation.”
In order to plan for teaching assignments, students/parents must keep or change the registration to HOLA in their Skyward account.