TA News

Instrumental Teacher Greg Mellinger Featured in “High School Today”

Thetford Academy’s instrumental music teacher Greg Mellinger recently penned an article for the National Federation of State High Schools Association‘s publication “High School Today.” The article, titled “Maintaining School Activities in a Small School Setting,” discusses the importance of providing students with a broad range of athletic, club, and arts activities—and the challenge of doing so in a small school setting.

Mellinger shares how Thetford Academy has addressed this challenge with creativity and commitment. One creative solution, he writes, is the recent reorganization of the school’s daily schedule to include what TA calls “Power Hour.” Power Hour, now in it’s third academic year, is a 50-minute block of time built into the middle of each day to accommodate time for grade-level advisories, a weekly all-school assembly, clubs, teacher office hours, and lunch.

The model, says Mellinger, “provides substantial time each week for teachers to meet individually with students to help with academic needs, and…gives students a chance to make up class work and tests without having to come after school. Clubs have adequate time to accomplish goals, and grade-level advisories give teachers an opportunity to stay in touch with a specific group of students.”

Despite the challenges that often face small schools, says Mellinger, “it is of paramount importance” for students to have access to activities that “develop their experiences and help them become well-balanced and broad thinking across many disciplines.” Through Power Hour and other initiatives, Thetford Academy works hard to build and maintain these opportunities for students–and like Mr. Mellinger, we believe it’s worth it.




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