FRESHMAN ACADEMY (FRAC) = THE FRESHMAN ADVANTAGE
The Clinton High School community holds the goal of educating every student at the highest level of which he/she is capable. From the most advanced freshmen students to those who struggle academically, FRAC is set up to help students gain academic confidence and become willing to take on challenges they might not consider otherwise.
For our college bound freshmen, the process involves challenging them and preparing them to take advanced classes whenever possible. FRAC English and math will prepare them well during the freshman year, helping them build a strong foundation for future advanced classes. FRAC allows teachers to go more in-depth into teaching the writing process, problem-solving skills and other advanced/college-bound skills.
For those students who are not quite ready for advanced skills but could get there with a little extra push, FRAC allows teachers the flexibility and time needed to identify strengths and areas of need so they can design instruction accordingly. Students then have the opportunity to build on their strengths and develop skills in areas of need. Many of these students find they are capable of so much more than they ever thought possible as they learn they are “honors material” after all.
For those students who tend to struggle academically, FRAC teachers use a variety of instructional techniques and strategies. Students often discover that they can learn and that they can be successful. We want all freshmen to believe in themselves enough to not only earn that high school diploma but to go on to greater things after high school. It is our hope that all CHS students will go out into the world well-prepared and excited about the possibilities ahead.
What is FRAC?
FRAC utilizes an innovative way of scheduling and teaching freshman courses in English and math.
FRAC utilizes flexible pacing, flexible scheduling and consistent expectations among the FRAC teachers.
FRAC is a student-centered program where teachers work together to develop innovative instructional strategies and to teach the behavioral skills required in the workplace.
Students take English and math both semesters of their freshmen year.
Teachers meet weekly to discuss individual student needs and behavior, to problem solve and to plan curriculum.
Individual student progress is assessed every 4.5 weeks and “second chance” opportunities are built into the FRAC structure to ensure that students master the material.
Students can earn a total of two credits in FRAC English and two credits in FRAC math (see 1st and 2nd Semester Credit Information below for specifics.)
In addition to FRAC credits, freshmen take Science (course placement based on EXPLORE score), Wellness, World History and Geography, and one elective course to earn the other four credits for the freshman year. (Eight total credits are possible for freshmen.)
|Class||1st Semester FRAC Credit Information||2nd Semester FRAC Credit Information|
English I Elective
|Students can earn one elective credit in Academy English.||English: Students can earn one core credit in English I Honors or English I (regular). The level of credit depends on the student’s ability level and successful completion of coursework for each level.|
Algebra I Elective
|Students can earn one elective credit in Academy Algebra.||Math: Students can earn credit in one of the following math courses: Algebra I Honors or Algebra I (regular). The level of credit depends on the student’s ability level and successful completion of coursework for each level.|
How It Works
Student performance on state middle school end of year assessments is used to determine where freshmen will start in the Algebra 1 and English curriculums. During the 1st 4.5 weeks, students complete course work in both subjects and individual abilities are assessed. Throughout the remainder of the year, students are periodically regrouped into classes that move at the pace the student needs. Faster-paced honors classes, medium-paced regular classes and slower-paced, skill-building classes ensure that each student has the opportunity to succeed at his/her ability level.
Student grades are always formative in nature. Students may redo assignments as necessary
to demonstrate mastery. Students are given a final grade on a unit in math, or a section of
work in English, once they have demonstrated mastery of the content.
If students receive a failing grade it usually means they either did not put forth effort to try and learn
the material or they did not do the homework and/or class work. FRAC is set up to make it possible for
all students to succeed unless they consciously choose not to succeed.
Communication with Parents
FRAC teachers make every effort to communicate with parents to keep them updated on important information and to request their help when students are struggling or making choices that interfere with their success. They use e-mail, letters mailed home and phone calls.
Parent involvement is definitely desired and encouraged. Keep in mind, however, that parent involvement at the high school level looks a little different than it did in lower grades. Parents and teachers work together to teach students how to become self-advocates, meaning that students take responsibility for their actions (academically and behaviorally), take initiative in getting their questions answered and take care of routine business for themselves. The amount of parent involvement/intervention depends on the individual student’s ability to master these self-advocacy skills. Ultimately, the sooner students are able to responsibly “be in charge” of their academic lives, the better it is for them.
Developing self-advocacy skills is important for students in many ways and will serve them well in the future. Getting used to taking the lead and working things out for themselves prepares students for life after high school. For example, colleges expect students to have the skills needed to work out details for themselves. In fact, some of the more selective colleges are now keeping track of parent contacts during the admissions process. They are denying admission to students who do not take the initiative to make contact with the college themselves. They are looking for students who can function independently in a competitive environment. High school should be the “practice ground” for building those skills.
With the goal of fostering these self-advocacy and independence skills, parents, teachers and counselors should work together to form a support network for students. The adults become the “coaches,” teaching students how to take care of business and work out details for themselves. This process is sometimes the longer, harder route to get things done but students benefit greatly in the long run.