Woodford had been in charge of special services at the LCSD #2 offices and had also served as the principal of Swift Creek Learning Center, now Swift Creek High School, until three years ago. He replaces Shannon Harris who has moved into the district office as the new director of instruction. Woodford is pleased to be interacting with students again.
“With special services, it’s a really busy position,” he said. “I generally had six or seven projects going at the same time. This is a little different. It is people intensive. I’m talking to people from 7:30 a.m. until well into the afternoon. That’s also the highlight of this job is that interaction with the students so that’s nice.”
Woodford taught for seven years at Logan High School in Logan, Utah so he is no stranger to the classroom. He has been impressed with the SVHS students thus far.
“The kids are great. I’ve been impressed,” he continued. “They’ve been polite, well-behaved and attentive. I’m sure we might have some kids that won’t want to walk down the path that we’ve set forth for them, but I’m just impressed. They are respectful, if you smile, they smile back.”
• Tardy Policy
One change that will be highlighted with Woodford’s arrival at the high school will impact late students. There is now a school-wide policy to cover this issue.
“Before now, it’s been up to teachers to define what a tardy is and then deal with it,” Woodford added. “Now it’s a little more strict. If a student is tardy, they owe a detention. It can be at noon or after school and they have until the close of school the next day to fulfill that. We are really trying to send the message that we want you in class. We want them where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there, and hopefully this will help with the overall discipline of the school.”
• 5th Hour
With the addition of 5th hour, or “the skinny” as it has come to be referred to within the school last year, there will be some adjustments here as well. The 5th hour represents the block of time at the end of the day. Principal Woodford has taken over a revamping of this period of time which was already underway by Mrs. Harris.
“Our focus is on remediation,” he replied. “Helping [those] students who need extra time on course work or need extra time to study. On Mondays all of our kids are in study hall. Tuesday through Friday, they can be released to work with advisers for activities. If you are with the marching band or have a key role in the play, you can go start during that time.”
The change will also give students involved in activities the opportunity to get home earlier.
“Our activities bus will run at 6:15 p.m. on Monday like it always has,” Woodford added. “The rest of the week, the bus will leave at 5:40 so they will get home earlier. Also, those students involved in the work-study program will have the opportunity to leave during that 5th hour and go to work. It is a work in progress; hopefully it will work out the way we want it to.