Heading into an all-new school environment can be daunting for students – being amongst crowds of fellow students, unfamiliar procedures, an overall bigger and possibly overwhelming environment.
Binghamton’s PATS program is looking to ease that transition for students new to Binghamton High School.
PATS (Patriots Aspiring To Succeed) is a new program at Binghamton High School. Getting its full start in the 2022-2023 school year, the PATS program is for ninth and tenth grade students who may need a little aid in adjusting to the new learning environment to get off to a successful start to their high school career.
Currently, there are 42 total students in PATS (32 ninth-graders and ten tenth-graders). Freshmen who enter the program make a two-year commitment. The district hopes to expand the program in the future to include around 60 students.
So… how does the PATS program work? Firstly, students in the program are in a smaller setting. They have their own section of the high school (second floor of the D building) and staff designated specifically for PATS students. Students begin and end the day at the D building (aside from elective classes, physical education, and lunch). Most of the classes have a class size of 12-15 students, so students get the time and attention they need to succeed.
Most high school students are accustomed to having a set daily schedule that largely involves moving to classes at the same times each and everyday. PATS students on the other hand have more personalized schedules that take into account academic and social needs on an individual level. What results is a more fluid environment that works for each student. Different students learn differently and come to school each day with differing needs. PATS addresses that head-on.
Ninth period also serves as a time where students can get extra help when needed – whether it’s with a specific subject, or if they need to take part in an activity to help with the social aspect of school. Along with having teachers solely devoted to PATS, there is also a PATS-specific guidance counselor, as well as a PATS-specific dean of students who help assess the needs of students. PATS staff work with students to make sure they stay on track with the credits they need to graduate.
That’s a paramount focus of PATS – getting students the assistance they need and ensuring that they graduate on time.
Students must be in good standing in order to be eligible for PATS – must have at least a 60 percent attendance rate, be passing a majority of their classes, and have less than ten referrals on their record. Program officials take recommendations from students’ middle schools and the high school’s guidance counselors on who should or should not be part of the program.
If you would like to learn more about PATS or see if a student qualifies, send an email to BHS Dean of Students Angela Panigrosso at email@example.com.