Minnesota high school trying new scheduling to raise student grades

Robbinsdale Cooper High School is trying out a new idea for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 school year. 

As of April 20, students with passing grades have the option to stay at home on Wednesdays, while those with a "D" letter grade or worse must come in for enhanced support. It’s called W.I.N. Wednesday, standing for "what I need."

Many of the school’s students are struggling, with grades down significantly since the start of the pandemic. 

"Right now we’re probably looking at about 50 percent of our student body with D’s and not completes," principal Dr. Frank Herman told FOX 9 on Wednesday.

Now, students with a C- or higher have the option to stay at home in the middle of the week, while all students with a D or lower are still required to be at school. 

"I think there was some excitement, apprehension, all kind of balled into one," Dr. Herman said of the changes.

Mimi Otu is a senior and she needs to get her grades up in English and math, "I don’t like the fact that a lot of the people that I’m close with aren’t here… it feels kind of empty without certain people being there," Otu said of the first day with new rules in place. 

"I probably would’ve had my grades better at the beginning of the year if I knew this was happening," she said.

Regardless of their course standing, all students are welcome to come to school in person on Wednesdays. 

But there isn’t any instruction from teachers on these days – instead it’s a study day designed to focus attention on students who need it the most. 

Any student with low grades who doesn’t show up will be counted as absent.