Pros of FIRE

Frances English, Writer

Foothill Intervention, Reinforcement and Enrichment (FIRE) is a program of structured student advisory time meant to help freshmen get to know other incoming students along with upperclassmen at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech). The 30-minute period taking place every weekday except Monday is before lunch and is dedicated to homework help, bonding activities and an overall check-in for wellbeing. Freshmen can sign out and meet with other teachers to enhance their learning and ask their FIRE leaders about concerns. Not only is FIRE meant to help new students, but it offers more time for upperclassmen to leave campus, with those students gaining an extra 30 minutes during their lunchtime. 

Teachers greatly benefit from FIRE as well. Conni Carr, the FIRE coordinator, strongly advocates for the benefits of the program, “personally, I believe that our advisory period is part of our [Foothill Tech] identity.” She continues that FIRE “creates a less-structured 30-minute cushion mid-day for teachers and students to work and meet differently”. It allows students to have a scheduled period to come in and ask for help without cutting into class or personal time. The advisory period lets teachers give extra support to their students without having to give up their personal lunchtime. 

The beginning of the school year can be incredibly stressful and scary for incoming freshmen. A new campus with much older kids and new expectations can be intimidating. The FIRE program allows freshmen to meet other students in their grade while being mentored and academically assisted by upperclassmen. The period “[requires] all teachers to interact with new students in small groups to encourage future connections.” It’s an excellent way for students to meet new friends, feel welcomed and become integrated into the Foothill Tech community. FIRE also allows freshmen to get help from their teachers so they can stay on top of their schoolwork. All around, FIRE gives a helping hand to new students at Foothill Tech. 

One of the most overlooked FIRE benefits is its control of crowding in the cafeteria and the lunch line in regards to seating. Since the period delays freshman and FIRE leaders from leaving classrooms for lunch, FIRE allows for a smoother transition for other students to receive and eat their food. 

A well-loved perk of the advisory period is the extra time for upperclassmen who are in Foothill Tech’s Renaissance program to leave campus. Students with off-campus privileges can use this time to get lunch, stop at home or get academic help from teachers. Both students and teachers highly appreciate that extra lunchtime.

Many students don’t realize the perks that FIRE gives the whole school. The extra time can be used to do homework and get help or to have lunch with friends. The possibilities that FIRE allows for teachers and students are endless and its extinction would change the nature of Foothill Tech altogether.

What do you think?