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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Faculty, Link Crew introduce new after school tutoring options for such subjects as English, Spanish

The+principals+digital+newsletter+promotes+three+new+tutoring+programs+introduced+this+year.+The+Algebra+Center%2C+however%2C+on+the+top+right+hand+corner+is+an+after+school+tutoring+program+that+has+been+on+campus+for+awhile..
Image used with permission from Craig Weinreich
The principal’s digital newsletter promotes three new tutoring programs introduced this year. The Algebra Center, however, on the top right hand corner is an after school tutoring program that has been on campus for awhile..

For the first time in school history, the World Language Department has created an after-school tutoring program for students struggling in Spanish classes.

“During one of our Professional Learning Community meetings, we were thinking of ways to help the students, and we realized tutoring would be helpful,” Spanish teacher Mayra Morales said. 

Morales said she then set up the after-school tutoring program, which includes herself and five other teachers: Veronica Deutsch, Chris Llamas, Cindy Ruiz, Maria Torres and Natasha Tricoche. Each has signed up to be available in their classrooms at alternating times on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday tutoring times are from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and 3:30-4:00 p.m. while Wednesdays and Thursdays offer from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Students sign up through a Google form, which can be accessed through a QR code in the principal’s newsletter, ahead of time and are expected to commit to their times and not cancel appointments.

“We are piloting this idea, as with everything there are times that we have 10-15 students, and sometimes we have one or none,” the teacher said. “Students tend to come to tutoring when a test is coming up and need help getting clarification about a topic.”

The teachers are paid through designated money from the state, Morales said.

“We are planning on meeting at the end of each semester and see what has worked well and what needs improvement,” she said.

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT STARTS UP WRITING LAB

For the past four years, students needing help on their English essay writing assignments had no after-school on-campus services to turn to.

But that all changed in the middle of the first semester when the Writing Workshop opened in Room 180 on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 3:30-4:15 p.m. Also called the Writing Lab, it is also open on Thursdays at the same times.

This opportunity differs from the 2021 version, Level Up, in that the writing tutors are students from the International Baccalaureate [IB] program, not English teachers, said Scott Rosenkranz, English Department co-chairman and IB coordinator.

“IB students need to have a Community, Activity and Service [CAS] project, so we thought this [Writing Lab] would be a good opportunity for a win-win,” Rosenkranz said. “It seemed like a great idea to offer students peer mentorship so that students can get relevant, contextualized feedback from a third party.”

Even though the CAS project for IB students is not new for them, the English teacher who’s in his first year overseeing the IB program decided to incorporate the Writing Lab as one way to fulfill the CAS requirements.

And although IB students who participate in the lab receive volunteer hours, the service also emphasizes setting goals for the tutor about improving as an individual and impacting the community as part of the CAS process, Rosenkranz said. Most students who volunteer for the program have a role, set personal goals and reflect on the process each quarter that they are involved with the Writing Lab.

Besides IB students helping out as tutors, the lab is supervised by either Rosenkranz or English instructor Jill Lomheim.

“I think you want the Writing Lab to be a place where students can be playful with their academic skill sets to help them develop their argumentative and critical thinking skills,” Lomheim said. “And I hope that it just becomes a place where people feel safe to develop their voice.”

Students can arrive at Room 180 on the designated dates and times, after which they can receive tutoring and free snacks. 

Following the tutoring, students can submit a Google form, available through a QR code on the principal’s newsletter and flyers on campus, asking what topics they received help for.

“I would say that the interactions between the tutor and the person being helped teaches you a lot,” IB senior Jennifer Yoon said. “It also points out what I don’t know about writing, but also I feel like it’s good to know how to help other people.”

Flyers promoting the service have been posted around campus as well as a digital one included in past newsletters from principal Craig Weinreich.

“Well, besides creating it for our service project, we just wanted to be able to help students who are struggling in English class and have questions or struggle with writing essays and things like that,” said junior Ethan Tam, who volunteered as project manager.

Tam ensures that about 3-5 tutors are available to help on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When students arrive for help, they are randomly paired with an IB student.

Since its debut, a total of about 15-20 students have shown up to get help on such assignments.

Senior Jennifer Yoon (right) chats with fellow Writing Workshop tutor junior Kailyn Lee during an International Baccalaureate meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26.

LINK LOUNGE FOR FRESHMEN

Additionally, Link Crew introduced another new peer tutoring service, Link Lounge, which debuted on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The program, which Link Crew co-adviser Lindsay Safe supervises, serves as an open space for freshmen to eat, study and spend time with friends on Tuesdays during lunch in Room 62. Students who come do not need to sign in and are allowed to bring their lunches whether they receive services.

If needed, Link Crew leaders provide students with assistance on homework, offer advice on studying or address concerns about college-related issues — just any academic topic that they can help in, Safe said.

“There’s really a wealth of information when it comes to these juniors and seniors,” she said. “You know, that’s what the Link Crew is — they’re juniors and seniors that have walked the path already, and they’re ready to show the way to the kids that are younger than them.”

Since its inception, Link Lounge has yet to attract a large number of ninth-graders. 

“I’m a bit sad that there aren’t freshmen who come to us,” said junior Amy Roh, who although hasn’t gone recently, went five times last semester. “I love how we try to help them out, but I kind of wish we could do something to promote it.”

Link Lounge has been included in Weinreich’s digital newsletter, though from a Friday, Feb. 2, installment, it’s advertised as “FRESHMAN TUTORING WITH LINK CREW.”

Another Link Crew member, senior Max Soto, has also gone there for almost all the sessions.

“Obviously, [the turnout] can be better, but I feel good knowing we will always have the space open for those who need help or just want a place to hang out,” Soto said.

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Irene Park, Copy Editor
After spending her freshman year in the Journalism 1 class, sophomore Irene Park takes on the role of one of the copy editors of The Accolade. Park looks forward to contributing to the publication by enhancing reporters' stories. As a cub reporter, she received a Best of SNO award for her story about the unique ways some teachers commemorate Memorial Day. Park plans to strengthen her writing abilities and balance her growing workload while fostering new friendships. Outside of The Accolade, she is the sophomore president of the Korean Culture Club and actively participates in other clubs. In her free time, she watches anime and plays the cello.
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