I will be volunteering as a chess teacher at Strickland Middle School (SMS). Chess will be held during advisory period, 1:10-1:55 p.m. every day, starting next week. SMS advisory is for students who: 1. Scored 2200 or higher on all sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) on the last TAKS administered. On the TAKS, 2100 is the (passing) standard, and a commended performance is 2400 or higher.

 2. After advisory begins, if a student has a failing grade (less than 70), as of a three-week progress report or a six-week report card, that student is assigned to study hall until his or her grades improve to the passing level. After three such assignments to study hall, the student is not allowed to return to his or her advisory club. Students who are not eligible for an advisory club are assigned to a study hall for the year.    

During an assembly on September 10, 2008, about 330 eligible students chose from advisory options offered by 13 teachers (including me, volunteering in the classroom of math teacher Steve McClanahan). Advisory clubs include 6th grade sports, 7th & 8th grade sports, Art Club, Chess Club, Computer Club, Handbells, Puzzles and Games Club, Rachel’s Challenge, Library Club, Spanish Club, and Theater Club. For those students, Mondays and Wednesdays of advisory will be study skills and character education. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays will be devoted to each student’s chosen enrichment. I am excited to see, this coming week, how many returning students I have from last year's chess advisory. And, also, to meet my new chess students!