After-school help program comes to Jefferson


Aarya Kumar, Online Editor-in-Chief

Jefferson’s After School Program, where students can quietly study in a classroom, consult a teacher for help, or use, will be starting on Wednesdays and Thursdays in February. Late buses will also be provided for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students. The program was started in response to student feedback last year.

“Last year, I had a couple of students who had asked about getting help after school. We don’t really have classes or places where kids can go to get help. When you look at Nobel Commons and you see a bunch of kids sitting in there, imagine if they could be sitting down with a teacher and getting help,” assistant principal Shawn Frank said.

While students had asked about the program last year, there were multiple steps in the planning phase that led to this year’s launch. 

“First, it was getting funding so teachers could be hired to work in the program. Then, it was a matter of contacting staff members to see who will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as late buses come on those days. Finally, it was spreading awareness and getting the word out that the program was available,” Frank said.

The program has been set up to cover a wide range of student needs.

“We do not have a whole lot of teachers but at least we have teachers from different disciplines. When students go in to sign up for a teacher, they can get the right help. For example, they can see Mr. Bass and go get math help,” Frank said.

The main purpose is to provide students with a quiet place to work but groups may also be able to meet for projects/activities.

“We would have to see what group projects look like. Right now. It’s just kind of a quiet place to work. However, students can work on group projects, as long as people are not being loud or crazy. Then obviously, that’d be a problem,” Frank said.

The end objective remains to help as many students as possible.

“I’m hoping we get half of the signups filled. But the biggest goal is just providing a safe place for kids to come to work to get help. If they’re struggling in a particular area, they can hopefully match up with a teacher to help them,” Frank said.