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Morrison starts Field Goal Fridays
school bus
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Morrison School is implementing Field Goal Fridays beginning March 5, according to principal Kim Cantrell. 

The purpose of the special days is to provide additional academic support to students who need extra help. Cantrell says, “Parents are struggling during this time, teachers are, students are. So we just looked at, ‘How else can we help?’” 

She adds, “I think sometimes when you can’t have a complete touchdown, you’ve got to figure out how to get some of those extra points on the board.”

Morrison School sent out 95 invitations to families, and by the next day 50 of those families responded that they would like for their child to take part in Field Goal Fridays. Other responses in the affirmative are expected to arrive in the coming days.

The Field Goal Fridays will run from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. noon. Students will be fed breakfast and lunch during the special days. Between meals, students will work with teachers and staff to make gains in academic performance, specifically in math and English language arts. 

Bus transportation is not currently available for participating students, but Cantrell hopes to try to work out an agreement with Durham School Services for buses to transport students to and from the school on Fridays in the future. “Hopefully we can work something out with them so that we can transport the few students who can’t be brought by parents,” she says.

Cantrell got the idea for Field Goal Fridays from an Upper Cumberland school principals meeting, when an administrator from another county presented a similar version. “I came back and started talking to my instructional coordinator, Tamra Pryor, and it kind of just grew from there,” Cantrell says. 

As far as she knows, hers is the only school in the Warren County School System currently implementing some form of in-person instruction on Fridays. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Fridays have been used within the Warren County School System for virtual instruction only, with students learning from home on those days.

Cantrell says the student-teacher ratio for Field Goal Fridays will be in the 5-to-1 range, and up to 100 students will potentially be served each Friday. Classified staff and certified teachers without a homeroom class will be the school employees providing much of the direct instruction to the students. 

“Our certified and classified staff that aren’t homeroom teachers will actually be overseeing these students on that Friday,” Cantrell says. She says of these teachers, “Again, I’ll use that football analogy. We’ve got special coaches and special teams.”

Cantrell is quick to give praise to the teachers and staff at Morrison Elementary. “We couldn’t do anything without the teachers and all the support we have around our teachers here,” she said.