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Students Succeed After School Shortens Classes

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- This time last year, Katie McCune was failing multiple classes.  But, within a matter of months she turned her grades around.  Now, the Blue Springs High School senior has all A's and B's.

"I might still be a junior," said Katie.  "If it Wildcat hour, I would still be a junior."

The turn around wasn't due to one teacher or one class, but one new tool the school implemented.  For 50 minutes in the middle of the day, students go to Wildcat Hour, a time for them to have lunch, relax, get tutoring and catch up on homework.

"I don't have to stress about school anymore," said Katie.  "You can just relax in the middle of the day and take a break from everything. You can get the extra homework that you've been stressing about.  You can go ask your teachers anything."

"We have club meetings, we hold tutor sessions, we have AP review sessions, we have ACT review sessions," said Heather Knudsen, one of the Wildcat Hour organizers.  "So, we have a lot of different things for students."

Five years in the making, Knudsen helped form Wildcat Hour.

"It's awesome  It's one of those program that when we developed it we really didn't know which direction it was going to go," said Knudsen.  "It has taken on a whole life of its own.  Students are in classrooms, they're getting help.  We've had a lot of success stories for Wildcat Hour."

Katie is one of them.  And instead of having to repeat a grade, she'll head to college next year with a major in Criminal Justice.

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