Hopi High officials hope Josten's Renaissance will improve academics

Program encourages students to achieve academic excellence

Myles Beam and James Olsen talk about Josten’s Renaissance Program on a fake Hopi Radio Program. Stan Bindell/NHO

Myles Beam and James Olsen talk about Josten’s Renaissance Program on a fake Hopi Radio Program. Stan Bindell/NHO

POLACCA, Ariz. - Hopi High School is using the Josten's Renaissance Program (JRP) to improve academics.

James Olsen, director of the JRP at Hopi High, said JRP will encourage students to achieve academic excellence through incentives for good grades and behavior.

"Students will over time get motivated to improve," he said. "Students will also receive rewards for good behavior."

Last year, freshmen were encouraged to pass their classes in order to participate in activities of their choosing, such as watching a movie.

Olsen said this year JRP is planning on having weekly raffles for students who make it to class on time. Quarterly activities will be planned for students who work hard in their classes and have good attendance. He said a survey to the Hopi Jr/Sr High faculty about JRP received lots of positive comments.

Thirty-five staff from the high school and 22 from the junior high responded that they support the program. Four said they have concerns about JRP.

Olsen praised the administration for covering the costs of JRP and for supporting the idea.

Hopi Jr./Sr High School Superintendent Paul Reynolds praised the program for being something positive for the students and staff.

Twenty-seven teachers and staff have signed on as volunteers to make the program work.

Olsen led an in-service last week to educate and motivate teachers to get involved in JRP.

Olsen has been aware of JRP for 20 years because he did an in-depth project for one of his graduate classes.

The sponsors for the program include seniors Dirk Wirth and Cedric Dewavendewa; juniors Farron Lomakema and Annie Goy; sophomores Jan Mathis, Laura Hays and Laurel Poleyestewa; freshmen James Olsen, Myles Beam and John Williams; eighth graders Charlene Clark, Leroy Thomas and Dennis Williams; and seventh graders Carol Johnson, Cheryl Onsae, Grace Mahkewa, Mackenzi Navenma and Duree Lomadafkie.


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