“Project Momentum” means new prospects for classrooms


Peyton Thompson

Project Momentum focuses on students in order to help them be more successful in school.

Peyton Thompson, News Editor

Project Momentum, a government funded program, is intended to create a more influential learning environment for students and train teachers to educate in a way that helps students reach their full potential.

Governor Doug Ducey has given teacher grants to OHS, money issued by the government to fund a program or project, to enable teachers to come in and be paid to work over the summer. Only 42 teachers were able to receive the grants, so the program focuses on ELA teachers, math teachers, biology teachers, chemistry teachers and special ed teachers; almost all subjects that revolve around state testing.

Dr. Lynn Miller, Principal, predicts LLT’s (Level Learning Teams) will make progress within the student body. The teachers of these teams will come together and collaborate to help students grow and fulfill their learning capacities. Through this program, students are staying classy and also doing their best in the classroom.

“The premise of it is to get the most of our learning and to make sure every student grows to their capacity, because some [students] might not be able to grow as much because they might not have the talent, the knowledge. But I know others have a lot more to give me and they may not be giving it to me,” Miller said.

Teachers are trained to look at the state standards and requirements for AzMerit to create an effective lesson plan that will engage students and teach them what they need to learn. And by using high yield strategies utilized in classrooms, teachers help students analyze materials presented in class and extract a deeper understanding of the information.

“It’s assisted the teachers in becoming more lazor like focused in delivering the right instruction and the right work,” Miller said.

The project was put in place to fill in the learning gaps students attain from having different teachers in different classrooms. The overall goal is to see a growth among students in comparison to how they performed last year. In the end, their test scores and ultimately their AzMerit scores should improve. By filling in these gaps, students should retain most of what they’ve learned.

“They are going to do better, I think, on the test. Between their final exam and Azmerit I think scores will go up. But I think they are going to hold onto the knowledge better. I think I’m doing a better job at [helping] them grasping it and holding onto it. I don’t think they are just going to memorize it for the test and just forget about it,” said Cheryl Bremser, algebra teacher.

As students show more growth, the school gets funding for resources that make things like Eagle Hour possible. As the rate in student’s growth increases, the better our school looks and therefore a better label the school receives.

“Schools in general are scored on the students’ results which is based on the teacher’s teaching. So if we can ultimately score a better score then it would reflect better on our students and our teachers,” said Claire Bruns, biology teacher.

With the experience of Project Momentum behind their belts, students will have no reason to fail. Utilizing Eagle Hour and other students’ resources in addition to the program, students will graduate high school prepared for the future.

“The students are going to graduate and leave O’Connor better. They’re going to have a better understanding of things, going into, whether they go to trade school or college, they’re going to go [in] more successful. They’re not going to struggle as much once they leave high school,” Bremser said.

In the end, Project Momentum will help propel the school in the right direction and lead students towards a greater future. Students, teachers and the school can reap an abundance of rewards from this program.

“If our students are benefited then our school is benefited because the school is here for you; it is here for our students. And it’s our job to make sure that you’re prepared educationally and for the real world,” said Shawna Fleegle, freshman ELA teacher. “So I think if our kids are more successful on all of the state standards and state testing it’s going to have a really positive impact on our school culture.”