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Two new initiatives work in student’s favor

Liam Wolfe, Staff Writer

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With the new school year came several new additions to the high school, such as the one to one program and a new writing center. The English department and the Technology department are working on developing programs that support students in these changes.

“We want to create a place where students can come after school to get help and guidance on writing assignments,” said Stephanie Robertson, an English teacher at Smithville High School.

The writing center was created to help kids target specific parts of their writing that they struggle with in any subject field.

“As English teachers, we obviously value necessary writing skills. It’s imperative that our kids develop those skills,” Robertson said. “Our department saw a need and we wanted to fill it.”

The Warrior Writing Center is not only open for English papers. The purpose of it is to improve writing basics in all subjects, be that English, history, science or even resume writing.

“We want you to help improve writing in every subject,” Robertson said. “The point is to help students develop skills, not rewrite their paper for them.”

The writing center is scheduled to open Monday, September 25. There will be opportunities for students to help tutor other students as the program develops. The program may also be opened up for community outreach at a later date. As of now, the English department will be working with students in the newly developed writing center.

However, if students are currently interested in helping others during school hours, they will be able to join Warrior Tech Support. Tech Support is a program that was implemented with the new One to One Chromebook initiative. The students play the role of tech support for students and teachers that are having trouble with technology on a district-wide basis

“Our students are trained to help fix Chromebooks and help integrate technology,” said Joe Kleine, technology teacher, and creator of Warrior Tech Support.

Students are allowed to become part of the technology program through a rigorous semester-long training course that teaches them the basic skills needed to fix a computer. After this training, they take the class for one elective credit.

“First they need a semester of training that consists of getting Google Educator Level 1,” Kleine said. “My students need to know how to troubleshoot, whether that includes hardware or software. Most importantly, they need to have an open mind and a willingness to learn.”

To be considered for the class, students had to contact Kleine or a counselor. They then filled out an application which included a teacher recommendation. The student was accepted or declined based on the teacher feedback.

“The grading there is either pass or fail, learning those things like professionalism, and that I observe that you are being professional,” Kleine said.

The Warrior Tech Support doesn’t only fix Chromebooks in the high school; they fix them all around the district.

“We (Warrior Tech Support) fix Chromebooks from all around the district so we go to the middle school in the morning to see if they need us to fix any down there then we take the ones that need to be fixed up to the high school and we fix them,” Kleine said.

WTS is open from 7:30 am – 3 pm during school days, so students work in “shifts” which is a block of school time.

“We have it all hour,” said Chris Ariagno, senior. “We have different techs work different hours some of the newer people working on the Chromebooks work on 1B, 4B, 1A, 4A.”

Photo by Troy Smith

The sign for the Warrior Tech Center. The Tech Team is made up of students and have been working all summer.

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