Some comments from parents:

Mr. Chiaravalli,
I am all in favor of any extra help that is made available to students who do not have math strengths.
As a parent of two kids who do not posses a "math brain", our family really struggles with the new four year mandate for math. Many students will not go into careers that require algebra or geometry, but they are now required to take them plus to graduate from high school.
Instead of allowing students to learn in fields that interest them, we are forcing them to participate in classes where they do not have strengths, and in many cases forcing them to struggle and fail. How does this enhance their high school experience, or better prepare them for the "real" world?
I realize those in Haslett cannot change the current Michigan requirements. And I realize that until those requirements are changed, our children will be forced to adhere to them.
To me, that puts more responsibility on the families to encourage participation in all help offered, and on the teachers to offer more help to all those who need it. That requires more of all involved teachers -- more time, more planning, more creative methods of education.
Your program is a great step in the right direction. Please keep it, and encourage others to create similar programs for the students.


I have LOVED the Skill/Point recovery both as a mom and fellow teacher. One of the main things that I appreciate about it is the focus on learning the SKILLS not just raising a test score. I know in my own class, I wrestle with what to do with those kids that just didn't seem to get a concept. Unfortunately, there is often just not enough time to make sure that all kids are " getting it". We often feel like we just have to continue on despite the fact that we know we have kids who have still not mastered the skills- this is so against everything I believe in!! I have told Jordan a number of times how lucky he is to have a teacher who is willing to go that extra mile to make sure that he is understanding what he is doing, as well as being given an opportunity to raise his score. In my opinion, Skill/Point recovery is the perfect example of making sure that kids are learning, not just that the teacher is teaching.Thank you so much for taking all the time to offer this very important piece!!


HI Mr Chiaravalli,
Tyler has tried to attend all possible skill point recover sessions. He was always been a good math student however, Geometry is difficult for him. He is clearly struggling and the ideas are not coming easily. He is able to slow the pace down and gain a clear understanding in skill point sessions. Thank you for giving him the extra time and help he needs. I am very excited about this as he is not just improving his grade but mastering the skills to use in the math course ahead of him. Without the time and effort you have given him I would be very concerned about his success in future high school math classes and college. This way even if his grades aren't great up front, he is not losing these skills he will need in the future.
Thank you for your time and attention in ensuring my sons future success!!!


Mr. Chiaravalli-
Skillpoint Recovery seems to be helping Kaleigh tremendously from the aspect of tutoring other students. Obviously, her grade has improved drastically and she seems to be understanding the material much better these days. From her standpoint, "teaching is twice learning", and it seems to be really working for her.


The flexibility of Skill/Point Recovery has helped Matt work around our busy schedules, and stay active as an advocate for his grade. In a period in Matt's where motivation is hard to find, I am thankful for the oportunities that your class offers. Thanks.


Alexis has not been in the Skill Point Recovery but she has been a tutor for it. In some cases, it works that the teacher / tutor sometimes learns just as much as the student. I think this is that case here. She has loved helping others with it. I look forward to meeting you next week at Parent Teacher Conferences. Thanks


I have been very impressed with the Skill/Point Recovery program. While we give "lip service" to the fact that we want all kids to learn the material, we are far too often comfortable assigning the grade and moving to the next topic - whether or not the students have actually mastered the information. It seems an obvious assumption that students learn at varying paces, but traditionally, we still expect everyone to learn the same material at the same time. The math program, is particularly vulnerable to "losing" kids, because one concept often builds on another. So, if a student does not have adequate time to process the concept, he or she is at risk for missing out on the next concept, as well. While the S/PR program may not be THE answer, it at least attempts to creatively address some of these issues.

So often, creative programs go by the wayside because it is difficult to deal with the reality of assigning grades and motivating students to take part. The S/PR program has dealt effectively with these issues. The concept of changing a student's grade to reflect mastery of the content has been a VITAL component to the program. If we are open enough to really believe that a grade should reflect what the child has learned, I cannot imagine anyone having an issue with the grading system. Further, it motivates students to actually take part, because it affects areas that are important to them- their grade point and (possibly) their credits for graduation.

Finally, from a district perspective, I would think expansion of the S/PR program would benefit the school in terms of improved standardized test scores. While there wouldn't be any data to confirm that yet, it would seem that as more students are given the opportunity to master more of the curriculum (versus being passed along through it), more students would be successful on these tests.


Some comments from students:
The whole purpose of schooling is to learn and understand the material. Skill point recovery is the best way for students to accomplish this goal. In a normal class, if a student fails a test, they just fail the test without understanding the information. With skill point recovery, if you fail a test, you have the opportunity to gain back points. SPR allows students not only to gain back points, but to truly understand the information. SPR is the best way for me and my classmates to understand math.
Ryan, 11th grade


Skill point recovery helps you work on your weaknesses so that they can become your strengths. Other kids can come in and help tutor you so that you understand it better.
Patrick, 10th grade


Skill point recovery provides a sense of relief for those with test anxiety. In many classes, the pace is so fast that if a student doesn’t grasp a certain concept, they are left wondering about it as the curriculum moves forward. With SPR, students are able to solidify their abilities with the incentive of gaining back lost points. Credit is not awarded unless the student truly grasps the concept, making the process fair and effective. It is a truly unique and efficient program.
Matt, 10th grade


SPR has been a safety net for me. During a test my mind just went blank and I ended up receiving a D- on it. I was able to go over what I missed and work my way back up to a B+. I think that other teachers should offer SPR because its not fair for students who put forth the effort and have a bad test day. This would give a second chance at the test.
Dylan, 10th grade


Getting my grade up from a D to a B is always good. But I especially like that I learn the stuff and don’t just lose it all come final time I wouldn’t know it. But I actually knew things on the final because of it. Also with tutoring I can earn homework grade up.
Tommy, 10th grade


I believe Skill Point Recovery is extremely helpful to me. Once I find out what objectives I really need to work on I focus on that completely. If I then make a mistake on an objective, I’m confident that I can get back points and not stress.
Sonya, 11th grade


Skill point recovery is a very good program. In all classes in school, there are topics that even the best teachers can’t teach me. Skill point recovery gives me the opportunity to learn from my mistakes (which is said to be one of the best ways to learn).
Ian, 10th grade


Skill point recovery gives me a better one on one ability to learn the objectives that I have not understood. It takes me a lot longer to grasp on to the concepts of math then some students and instead of punishing me for it, it gives me the ability to learn and get the objectives back. I really think it is a great activity for learning.
Rochelle, 11th grade


Skill point recovery has helped me tremendously. If you are in need of help or a better grade on your test, this is definitely the place to get it. I went from an E on a test to an A. Skill point recovery has improved my grades and has helped me to learn more and learn what my mistakes were.
April, 9th grade


After S/P recovery I understand how to do the things I didn’t before. It helps my grade. Because of it, I actually understand math and have a good grade in math class for the first time in 2 years.
Nesh, 9th grade


I’m not very good at taking tests so I don’t do well on them. Skill point recovery helps understanding of the objectives. SPR helped me get points back and raise my grade while gaining understanding. Skill point recovery is a great opportunity and I wish more teachers offered it.
Gwen, 9th grade


When I go to SPR I actually learn the material necessary for Geometry. It’s not a program where you go and you just redo the entire test. You re-do objectives or part of the chapter making it more time efficient and specific to your needs. It takes time and effort, but you got to do what you got to do to pass and succeed. It’s a really great program and I recommend it to all.
Dan, 9th grade


Skill point recovery has been a great thing for me. Not just to recover points on my test and save my grade, but to actually learn the things that were difficult for me. Before skill point I would never learn the things that I didn’t get right on the test and we would move on, but now I get a second chance, and more explanations on the things that I didn’t understand. I found proof that it worked when I took my finals, after I got it back, I compared it to my other tests and the things that I worked on in Skill point recovery I got right on the final, and my score was substantially better.
Tyler, 9th grade