Graham High School Principal Robert Loomis came up with an idea years ago that utilizes school time to the fullest — and it's still working.
When Loomis was principal of Graham Junior High School, he created a system that added a full 90 minutes to a given school week that could then be used for student enrichment in a number of ways.
Basically, Loomis would take two minutes from each class period and one minute from each passing period to create the extra time, which was then spread into 30 minute intervals dispersed for use on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. These intervals were used for UIL projects, elective classes or intervention learning. The technique boosted UIL efforts and caused GJHS to place first academically four years in a row. Loomis took the technique and applied it at Graham High School when he became principal. Three of those four years, Graham High School has placed first in academic UIL events in its district consisting of Wichita Falls-Hirschi, Vernon, Burkburnett and Iowa Park.
It may sound like an exercise informercial: “For just 90 minutes per week, you too can change your life!” But it works, and students across the board continue to boost Graham High School's stats in part because of Loomis' system.
“We use this time to practice UIL events, one act plays,” Loomis said. “We have kids that go from enrichment in arts, biomedical science, debate TSA (engineering group), DECA, the business group, and kids also go to FCCLA.”
He explained that it has extended to also benefit students in ag and ag mechanics classes, as well as choir, and said that he believes this is just the start of his time-saving system's potential.