9th hour is an after-school time assigned to students who are failing one or more classes for two or more weeks consecutively. The purpose of this is to give students an opportunity to have more time to get work done and to get help from teachers if needed.
The 9th hour program started more than 15 years ago, and the program we have today was based on a program Pecatonica had. “Before 9th hour, there was no set study hall period,” explained Mrs. Hutcroft. “people with a D or F would be on a study hall list. If I had any students in my study hall on that list, I would not be able to send them to the library. Before 9th hour and having a set hour for study hall, study halls were much stricter and harder to get help because other teachers would be teaching.” With the study hall program we have now, every student has study hall for the last hour of the day. During this time teachers can request students for missing work or catch up on assignments if needed.
9th hour is a requirement in the student handbook, and the activity code, and is a school board policy. The student handbook wording says, “If a student is receiving an F in any class, the classroom teacher will contact parent/guardian and inform them of the student’s poor progress and that student will have until the next grade check (typically the following Tuesday) to bring grades up to at least a D- or be placed on 9th hour.” The activity code takes it a step further adding, “they are also ineligible for all extra-curricular activities until the next grade check.” To keep 9th hour required, any students who skip a 9th hour without an excuse from a parent will start to serve detentions. In the past, Mr. Uppena has taken students home with the school van so transportation, like a missed bus ride, would not be an issue.
Students aren’t usually thrilled when they are assigned to 9th hour, but parents understand that it's a way to help students get caught up or get extra help. “More [parents] talked about liking this as an option for kids to get more support,” explained Mr. Uppena, “It’s not supposed to be a punishment; it's a way to keep students caught up and get extra help if needed. Some [students] see it as negative for sure.” 9th hour is meant to be a tool, a helpful time and place to make sure students can graduate and move on to be successful.