Hancock High’s ELO gives students an advantage

HANCOCK — In spite some on-going opposition, the high school’s Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) center is a valuable tool for teachers and students students, who do not hesitate to utilize it to great advantage.

Ezekiel Ohan created the ELO shortly after he accepted the position as high school principal in 2017, for both students who excel in school, and those who need extra help in any subject.

The center averaged about 40 students per day throughout the first marking period, Ohan said, in spite of just three hours of daily availability this school year. The hours for the ELO have been reduced to Third, Fourth, and Seventh hours of each school day. Ohan established with the teachers a means by which they can monitor each student’s progress and proficiency to identify those who either excel at a subject or need extra help to better understand a topic or curriculum. With the programs currently in play at the high school, he believes no student will fall through the cracks.

“So, we really have set up a system where teachers can go ahead and identify kids who are not performing to grade,” said Ohan. “That includes the Special Education Department, the gen-ed (General Education) Department, and the Vocational Department, and we can bring that to the attention of counselors and our tutor. The tutor makes up a schedule or a roster to receive those kids in that particular order.”

Ohan said a math tutor is part of the ELO, and next to it is what was referred to as maybe a storage space that is now also used to go ahead and receive kids who are falling short of proficiency in math and/or English.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re vocational and not following the cookie-cutter program of becoming an engineer,” he said, “or if you are a Special Education student. We will meet you where you are. We’re not going to have a standard for you to meet. And if you’re gen-ed, and you have difficulty, we have a place, we have a purpose, and we will serve that need. That’s ELO.”

The services provided in the ELO assist students on a number of levels. Extra attention increases the student’s understanding of the curricula, which in turn significantly increases the student’s self confidence.

“If a student doesn’t believe that they can do it, even if they can, they still won’t perform with an urgency,” Ohan said. “They won’t want to demonstrate so quickly. They won’t be so eager to engage.”