Double-shifting doesn’t make for a shorter school day for Post Falls eighth-grader Kayla Kimball.
While most of her classmates on the morning shift begin their day at 7 a.m. and go home at 12:18 p.m., Kimball stays for part of the second shift to tutor sixth-and seventh-graders.
It’s her way of brightening what many students and parents say is a dismal situation.
“I was really bored after school, so I went to the counselor and asked what I could do,” said the 14-year-old with long brown hair and baggy corduroys. “I like being able to help kids. It really boosts my self-esteem.”
As afternoon-session students chatter and wander around the classroom, Kimball tries to corral them and get them to focus on work sheets and textbooks.
She explains reciprocals to one student and coaxes another to take off his headphones long enough to finish his work.
She said she learned her patience from watching her mother, who ran a day-care center and preschool for more than a decade.
Kimball spends most of her time tutoring sixth-grader Josiah Hefner, whom she describes as “a very bright child.”
“He just doesn’t have the motivation to learn,” she said.
Hefner said he’s doing better in class since Kimball started helping him.
“If I’m stuck on some problems, she helps me,” he said. “I’m doing a little bit better in school - not as good as I need to be. The teacher’s always jumping down my back about why I don’t have my work done. (Kayla) just helps me when I need help.”
Kimball said double-shifting allows for more one-on-one attention in classes, but she said there are plenty of disadvantages as well.
Expect to see shoplifting and drug use on the rise, she said, as more kids have their afternoons free and are unsupervised.
She hardly sees her mother, who leaves for work as a pharmacy technician about an hour before Kimball gets home each day. So it’s Kimball’s job to go home and cook dinner for her dad.
In between her household and extracurricular duties - she’s planning the school talent show - she baby-sits for her nephew and neighbors.
Double-shifting “really tears families apart,” said Kimball, who loves skateboarding and dreams of becoming a criminal psychologist one day. “And it spoils the fun of junior high. You don’t have the opportunity to make friends with younger and older kids.”
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Vote Tuesday Election day for the proposed Post Falls School District bond issue for nearly $21 million is Tuesday. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Prairie View Elementary School, Ponderosa Elementary, Seltice Elementary, Frederick Post Education Center, Post Falls Middle School, Post Falls High School and Pleasant View Community Center.