What Are Don Rags and Why Does HRA Offer Them?
1) What are Don Rags?
The Don Rag is a special kind of meeting for the benefit of each student. All the teachers of the student convene to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth they have observed in the student. The parents and the student sit and listen while the teachers discuss the student amongst themselves. The goal of the teachers is to offer sage advice that will help the student to grow in his or her academic setting as well as to inform the parents about how their child is developing in school.
The Don Rag is not meant to emphasize the report card and the grades. Grades are merely a measure of students’ academic success. Rather, this meeting is meant to offer specific advice and encouragement to the student as he or she grows intellectually. In the event that the student is languishing, the teachers will proffer their best advice on how to stem the student’s struggles and put him or her back on a road to success.
The Don Rags happen in the middle of the first semester with the express wish that the meeting will result in a stronger, happier, and more motivated student for the remainder of the year.
2) What is the format that the meeting will take?
The parents and the student will be welcomed into the room. Mr. Welsh will explain the format of the twenty-minute meeting. For the first fifteen minutes, the teachers will discuss amongst themselves the strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth they have observed in the student during the first quarter. A designated teacher will type up the gist of the comments and will print them out at the end of the meeting for the parents to take home and further consider.
This scribe will also hand over the report card for the first quarter. In the last five minutes of the meeting, the student will have a chance to respond to anything he or she has heard; the parents will follow with any remarks, questions, or clarifications they have. Mr. Welsh will call the meeting to a close when the twenty-minute time period has ended.
3) What is the history of the Don Rags?
The term "Don Rags" has come to us from historical Oxford when the “Dons,”
as Oxford professors are traditionally called, would "rag," or challenge, students
in an oral examination. At the college level, students attend a Don Rag on their own with their faculty.