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Will Dunman, principal at Rim Country Middle School, administers the U-turn program each day at lunch.

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Homework becomes schoolwork – and a chance to succeed

U-turn program follows model that has boosted student performance significantly nationwide

Will Dunman, principal of Rim Country Middle School, waits at the front of the classroom, organized piles of schoolwork are on the desk in front of him. The bell rings. Out in the hall, most students grab lunch bags and rush to the cafeteria. But in room B-18, the students for whom Dunman waits file into the classroom to take a seat. No lunch for them until they finish class work they missed. Dunman, a bespectacled, kind-eyed, compact man with a very short haircut, (he says the barber got a little too enthusiastic with the clippers), administers the U-turn program every day at lunch. Originally supported by the GEAR Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate) federal program, U-turn teaches children responsibility for their homework while making sure they grasp the curriculum taught.


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