ReFLECT lives up to the hype

New free hour meets positive reception

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ReFLECT lives up to the hype

Kailey Newcome, staff reporter

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Mounds View recently ran two trial ReFLECT hours to test implementation for future years. Overall, the hour was viewed as beneficial. However, it may see a few minor adjustments before it becomes a weekly occurrence next year.

Standing for Re-Focus, Re-Learn, Re-Examine, Re-Connect and Re-Teach, ReFLECT’s purpose is to allow students to meet with teachers, do homework and take a break to reduce school stress.

Many students saw the hour as a great way to catch up on their schoolwork. “Before the ReFLECT hour, I was seven Calculus assignments behind, but after I was only five,” said Blessie Tandon, 11.

Teachers also appreciated the extra time. “A lot of students have been absent, so it was nice to have a time where they could make up work without having to come in before or after school,” said English teacher Rebecca Hauth-Schmid.

However, other teachers raised concerns over the possibility of students and staff relying too heavily on ReFLECT.

“If students and staff begin to overuse the hour, they’re going to become overbooked,” said chemistry teacher Graham Wright. “I teach a sixth hour class, and by the time I see my students to ask them to come in, they’re already seeing three other teachers.”

In addition, the ReFLECT hour may have a few other kinks to work out.

Less than five minutes into the first trial, administrators blocked students from entering the ILC because too many people had planned to spend the period there. “I spent the hour in the computer lab to get access to computers since the library was full,” said Jocelyn Landwehr, 10.

Ethan Gin, 11, felt that ReFLECT was good in theory but less successful in practice. “I feel like it wasn’t executed well,” he said. “The restrictive format and lack of prior notice made it less effective than it could have been.”

The full ReFLECT day schedule

The full ReFLECT day schedule

Administrators acknowledged these concerns. “The ILC had to be shut down [in the first trial], so we need to fix spaces for rooming the kids,” said Principal Jeffery Ridlehoover.

The school is already working with this year’s Junior Achievement Company, Rhidian Tech, to fix the problem. The company is developing an app called “MVPass” that will replace teacher signups and more effectively track students.

“We hope that by making sign up more convenient and dynamic, it will be beneficial for both students and administrators,” said Rhidian Tech’s Chief Technology Officer Jake Weightman, 12. “We’re now looking into adding a feature to let students see how many people are signed up to go to each room in real time, and setting limits to avoid traffic to the most popular destinations.”

Overall, the hour was highly regarded by the Mounds View community. “It went better than we could’ve expected. We’ve received numerous parent emails saying thank you, and students and teachers all had positive feedback,” said Ridlehoover. “I even got two calls from other schools asking about it and wanting information since it was so successful.”

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