Burlington North BEAM Recovery Course

The schools “safety net” for students needing to recover credits

Caleb Carter, Journalist

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At the Burlington-Edison North campus in room 361 is the BEAM room. BEAM is a class that gives students a chance to recover failed or missing credits through a semester to year long classroom work environment. The B-E North teachers are Joel Wasson, Samantha Wasson, Linda Larabee, and Kari Hollands, who all specialize in different subjects. Through the use of online test taking and review, the classroom works by introducing students to the needed credits required for graduation or improvement to their current GPA. The work is done online and typically consists of multiple reviews and quizzes in a unit, ending with the unit final test. Students will have to work through several units in their course by reading the reviews of the content, and then answering questions to various short quizzes. After completing that unit’s course work the final assignment will be the unit final test, either a multiple choice questionnaire or a long answer writing assignment (depending on the course).  During completion of review sheets and unit quizzes, help is readily available from both the teacher in charge and any participating BEAM peer tutors.


The purpose of a BEAM peer tutor is to assist students in finding the solution/understanding to any given question outside of the unit finals test. Nathan Long, class of 2018, a third period Blue day BEAM peer tutor, briefly describes his job as “Helping students with math, and also helping with some other things, but I usually go around to see who has math classes that day to help them if they need, or, if instructed, I will help specific students if they need it. If no one needs anything, then I will go to my desk and to my own school work.” With the different classes that BEAM encompasses for make-up courses, Nathan also goes on to describe his experience as a student, saying that “English took a full semester, involving a lot of reading and writing work. With health, history, and geography it is mostly quiz and exam based with only a couple questions for the quizzes. While exams are 25-50. Each class is broken up into a couple units for students.“


The right time to take a BEAM course is when students have missing classes or in some cases as Nathan describes “Senior year, when you’re pressing to get the required credits to graduate.” It is a viable option that is better to be used late than never if a student is hoping to get into college by completing all their necessary credits required to graduate high school. WIth the current block schedule in the school which enables 8 classes to be taken per semester, BEAM can be an even more vital tool to accommodate for the heavier workload students face. Not only does it appeal to students who struggle meeting the requirements, but also covers covers advanced courses that just couldn’t get enough attention in a normal school day. This aspect allows the BEAM program to be used as an active study hall in the school day.


Thanks to the BEAM program, roughly 80% of students participating are able to finish their course work before the end of the semester, earning them full credit recovery for the class. It is also a very adaptive course that allows students to take multiple classes in a semester, and be extended to a year long class. With more than 50 participating students per semester, BEAM acts as a safety net for students risking failure in their ending high school career. Beam can be stated as a class that is for everyone. It supports the over and underachievers giving them a space to do what they need to do and leaving room for what they want. It is a class that forces students to realize their weaknesses and their strengths, pushing them to test those qualities.