Johnston Teachers Keeping a Close Eye on Sophomore Class

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JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  It has been about five months since the new Johnston High School opened, and with a new school came new ways of keeping an eye on students.

Sophomore House was created this year to help teachers pay closer attention to the students in each sophomore class. The idea is to make it easier for students to transition into a new school and make sure they don’t fall behind in their studies.

Johnston High School social studies teacher Tom Griffin said educators want to see each student succeed.

“The ultimate goal is really to create a system of, like, a network of teachers so that they can work together to create those supports for students. I think every teacher works very hard to build strong relationships. Everyone is here because they care about the success of young people. So, really, it was an opportunity to bring those teachers together so that they don’t feel like they are the only one pulling the ropes sometimes,” Griffin said.

Parents were notified about the idea at the start of the school year. Students don’t know whether or not they are part of the program.

“As far as the students are concerned, the big thing for them has been that their teachers are engaged in this ongoing learning community, this ongoing support. The ultimate goal is that when we do notice a trend or we do see some indicators, that we can be more proactive than be in-reactive,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the practice is working so far, and teachers are excited to see how this idea continues to grow.

There are currently about 50 sophomores in the “house.”

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