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ABC, Easy as 123

By Clare Ogle, an MHS houseparent

Trying to get my kindergartener to do his homework usually goes one of two ways: he’s either thrilled and can’t wait to do it, or it’s a challenge. Obviously the night runs smoothest when it’s the former and the nights when it’s the latter can be difficult.

However, we also have to make sure the 12 boys in our student home have their homework done, too. Trying to keep 12 different schedules straight and keep up with what they’re learning in every class is nearly impossible. Luckily, as houseparents, we have an online system that helps us stay organized by allowing us to check their grades and assignments.

It’s also humbling when students know an answer to a homework question that we don’t—and they teach us something new. We love to watch them get excited about a book, and see them study hard and do well on an exam. It teaches them firsthand that hard work and dedication pay off.

All high school students also have a laptop or a MacBook, so the computer lab in our student home isn’t used nearly as much. We’re finding that the guys are doing their homework on their laptops in the living room or sitting area, which makes it easier for them to work together and for us to help them.

Our student home office computers also have been replaced by MacBooks, so we can work in the main living areas, too. It makes it easier for me to sit with a student and help him with his essay while at the same time submitting a food order through our school’s online fulfillment system. If we’re working in the same room, he can ask for my help whenever he needs it.

Technology is constantly changing, and I cannot ignore the fact that we are so blessed to be at a school where students have access to these resources.

While managing students’ schedules and helping with academics is not quite as easy as ABC or 123, we are working on it. The students are working on it. And the school is working on it. Our students are seeing that hard work pays off, which is one of the best lessons they can learn.

Students working on computers.


Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.