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A Day of Service- High School Edition

December 5, 2012


By Meghan Donohue, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Belaire High School

At City Year Baton Rouge, corps members make their biggest impact in the classroom. For my year of service, I am proudly serving at Belaire High School (check out Here’s a glimpse of a typical day I experience as a Belaire Bengal.

5:30 a.m.- Wake up and get ready.

6:10/15 a.m.- Meet up with carpool and leave for Belaire

6:30/35 a.m.- Arrive at Belaire

6:40- Morning circle: Joys and Ripples, announcements, questions, comments, and concerns….bring it in for a break!

6:50- Morning greeting!

7:00- Locker time for students. There is roughly a 4-5 minute break between each class.

7:05- Beginning of 1st period

I have first period off for interventions and planning. For me, this is a prime time  to prepare and organize, so I usually spend this period doing things like checking my email (email is the number one communicative vehicle of City Year), organizing work, or strategizing how I will be most effective with my students for the day.

7:15- Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence, and announcements over the school intercom.

8:04- Beginning of 2nd period.

I am on the 9th grade team, so this is my first English I class for the day. I work with four Focus List kids during  2nd block. I commit to a combination of supporting the whole class (walking around and helping students focus on/do their work), guiding push-ins with my Focus List students (working one-on-one with a Focus List student in the classroom), or doing push-outs with my Focus List (bringing a student(s) out of the classroom to the City Year room, the Library, or the courtyards to finish work or conduct ELA interventions). 

8:55-  Beginning of 3rd period

I use this period to direct interventions or work on make-up assignments with my Focus List students. Since 3rd period is the elective block for most freshmen,  I am  able pull them out of class and accomplish one-on-one or group time.

9:46- Beginning of 4th period

This is another off period where I conduct Math and ELA interventions or handle catch-up work with my Focus List.

10:37- Beginning of 5th period

5th period is another English I class I support with a different teacher. During this period I either help the whole class or push-in/push-out with my five Focus List students in this class.

11:24- First lunch shift/ beginning of 6th period for second lunch shift students

This is when I relax and enjoy my lunch. On some days, however, City Year has Bagged Lunch, a program that is in partnership with the teachers at the school. Bagged Lunch is designed to provide students with the resources and space to work on missing assignments. A few times a week, I sacrifice my lunch period to help students, who are often outside of my Focus List, finish their work and boost their grades.

11:59- 6th period begins for first lunch shift students/ all students from both lunch shifts are now in class.

During this block, I am with the same English I teacher that I was with during 5th period. Once more, I conduct whole class support or carry out push-ins and push-outs with the four students on my Focus List.

12:15- Second lunch shift begins/first lunch shift students continue through their 6th period

12:52- Beginning of 7th period

Now, I work in a two-period remedial math class that focuses on transitioning students from Pre-Algebra to Algebra I within the same year. Throughout 7th and 8th block, I perform whole class support, push-ins, or push-outs with my Focus List students. Three out of four of my Math Focus List kids are also on my ELA Focus List. This is both my favorite and most challenging class of the day. 

 1:43- Beginning of 8th period

I stay in my math class….and make sure the kids do too!

2:30- End of 8th period

Kids go home, load the buses, or get ready for sports practice.

But it’s not over yet…

2:30- After school looks like this:

On Mondays and Fridays, we stay until at least 4 pm to plan interventions, organize our Learner Leader binders, work with Focus List students, develop proposals, make attendance calls, work on our individual coordinator roles at the school (I am part of Parent Engagement), etc.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, City Year has after school tutoring, open to all students, until 4 pm.

Every Wednesday, we have a GAP (Goals, Actions, Progress) meeting that runs for at least an hour

4:15-5:00- Final Circle: Joys and Ripples, announcements, questions, comments, and concerns…bring it in for a break.

  Travel back home.

 And there you have it: one full day of service in one day of my life as a City Year Baton Rouge Corps Member.

 I can make a difference.

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