New WINN system for spring semester

NA switches from the diy WINN with Google forms to purchased system

Abby Moutardier, Editor-in-Chief

WINN (What I Need Now) is still a new program with changes occurring; the newest change- students will be using a new website as opposed to Google Forms. 

“Last year our failure rate was significant as we had 180% of the numbers of F’s then we had the year before,” Dean of students Kelly Payne said. “It was apparent that we would have to play catch up this year. Therefore in the spring of 2021,  administrators, counselors and teachers conducted a book study to research and review what other schools across the country had implemented to intervene for struggling learners.”

Bloomington South has had a program called “Panther Plus” for several years, and used a software called Plus Time; over the summer, several teachers and administrators went to the school to learn about the program, and met several times to develop the original system. 

“We always knew that we wanted a program somewhat like Bloomington South had, but first wanted to trial the program itself, which we did last semester,” Payne said. “Just by using the Google Form for WINN we believe that our F’s are down 50% from the last several years, not just the Covid Year.”

To kick off the second semester, the district purchased the Enriching Students system for about $5 a student. The Enriching Students system is also used by North Oldham High School, and has more features than the Plus Time system, such as the ability to work with PowerSchool. Last semester, students would fill out a Google Form every week, where they would put their name, fourth period teacher, and where they were going Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  

Google Forms is not ideal, it does not allow teachers or counselors to pull the students for specific sessions,” Payne said. “The teacher has to rely on the student to schedule themselves. Also, students needs change- if a student schedules themselves on Friday to receive English and science help, but then on Tuesday fails a math test- the student now needs math help. Since the needs change the schedule must change.  A student can not un-submit and resubmit a form. In this case, the student would be asked to fill out another form. The problem is that the student then shows up on two rosters which makes tracking attendance difficult.”

Major differences between the new system and the Google Form include the ability to see the description of the class, the ability to see how many seats are remaining in a classroom, and the ability for teachers to assign WINN’s to students, meaning that if Johnny needs calculus help, his teacher can sign him up for that WINN, even if he attempted to choose independent study.   

“The Enriching Students software allows for a teacher’s choice to trump the student’s choice,” Payne said. “This would help with the students who sign up for a place just because his or her friend was going there when he or she should really be signing up for a math session.  Teachers will now be able to take more accurate attendance, and it will help the students’ fourth period teacher help facilitate that their students are signing up and making the best choice for them.” 

Students will start using the new system to pick classes on Tuesday, January 18th, and on Wednesday, January 19, will travel for WINN for the first time this semester.  

Sophomore Jamari Williams-Pinkney is excited for the program to return. 

“[WINN] gives me extra time to work on stuff I need time for,” Sophomore Jamari Williams-Pinkney said. “I suck at math so I really find that time helpful to do math. I really hate the new system. I miss the old Google Forms, I really wish they will bring that back for next year, will I get what I want, probably not.’