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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

Level‌ ‌Up‌ ‌Tutoring‌ ‌offers‌ ‌students‌ ‌free‌ ‌aid‌ ‌in‌ ‌all‌ ‌school‌ ‌subjects‌

Kristel Laceste
Junior Saahil Kakaria tutors junior Dennise Cruz in chemistry on Thursday in Room 66 for the new Level Up Tutoring program.

A new after-school, peer tutoring program that offers help in all subject areas has served more than 30 students since its inception earlier this month, school officials said.

“We recognized that tutoring can be really effective, and it’s another opportunity we have to help students learn and get the help they need,” said English Department chairman Scott Rosenkranz, coordinator of the pilot program known as “Level Up Tutoring.” “Sometimes, the best way to get help is to learn from each other.” 

Level Up Tutoring, which began Nov. 8, is held in Room 66 from 3-4 p.m. with the first 30 minutes of the session mainly for tutoring by students from either the Algebra Center or the California Scholarship Federation clubs. The second half is a study hall in which students can finish and focus on their assignments from any subject. 

For a personalized and productive session, students who come for help are required to sign up for what they want to work on, write goals for the day and end with a feedback form on their way out each day. 

To ensure safety and make sure that students are on-task, adult teachers are paid to supervise the sessions each day.

“It’s a great way [for students] to take advantage of the half an hour and get help on homework, or clarify certain concepts that you might not understand,” Spanish teacher Veronica Deutsch, one of the adult supervisors, said.

School officials declined to state how much the pilot program costs, which includes funding for the adult supervisor.

We recognized that tutoring can be really effective, and it’s another opportunity we have to help students learn and get the help they need.

— Scott Rosenkranz

Rosenkranz said Level Up – a name the English teacher came up with – is a reboot of a program that started during the 2019-2020 school year, but that student outreach opportunity got abruptly cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. 

“I liked the name Level Up because it is a relatable term, drawn from pop culture, specifically video gaming,” he said. “The term suggests growth and improvement.”

And it has grown. The program, which first saw only six students on its first day, has now attracted a total of 30 with five students attending on average based on attendance calculations this week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

To inform students about the tutoring opportunity, Rosenkranz said he emails those who match what he described as a “formula.”  Their parents also get a copy of the same digital correspondence.

“We’re starting there in a targeted way, but certainly other students hear about it; we won’t turn them away,” he said.

“We emailed the students and their families just to say [that the tutoring is] available. But if any student needed help and was referred to us, we’d want to accommodate them,” Rosenkranz said.

Sophomore Adrian Ramirez was among those who got the email and was recommended by his parents to attend. 

Ramirez said he first started showing up to Room 66 the first-day tutoring started, and now he attends three days a week to get help with English.

“I think this program is good so far,” said the sophomore, who only stays for the peer tutoring portion of the after-school program. “It’s been helping me understand a lot of the topics more easily, so I don’t struggle as much whenever I’m doing work.” 

Unlike the first iteration of Level Up in which Rosenkranz partnered with math and Future Teachers clubs to find peer tutors, this time around he decided to seek help from the California Scholastic Federation [CSF] and newly established Algebra Center clubs.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially for student tutors,” CSF adviser Hera Kwon said. “It’s a great way to learn, work with others and even get community service hour credit. 

“There’s no better way than challenging your abilities by helping somebody out, so it’s a great opportunity for students who are already academically successful to test themselves.”

To be a tutor, CSF members can sign up by submitting an application Google form, which is sent through both Google Classroom and Remind a week prior.

Junior Jueun Park said she has made some valuable connections with her experiences from the past 6 days she’s been there as a member of CSF.

“I personally love this program, [and] I think it is and will be of great help to many students,” said Park, who also gets community service hours for showing up. “Especially because the program is open to anyone who wants it, people can come in with their friends or by themselves to get help or to work, and I think that’s the best part about it.” 

Although Level Up is just a one-year program, principal Allen Whitten said he’s optimistic about it.

“Sometimes, students just need a little extra support,” Whitten said. “Having peer tutors available for those classes and having a clean, well-lit place to study is [our first priority].”

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Seowon Han, Spotlight Editor & Business Manager
After an exciting year as a part of The Accolade staff, junior Seowon Han returns as a spotlight editor and business manager. Han served as a cub reporter her freshman year in Journalism 1 and joined The Accolade as a copy editor the following year. She experienced writing for every section and covered a range of topics. This year, Han looks forward to maintaining her section with fresh and relevant themes and stories to keep the readers informed with accurate news. Outside of The Accolade, Han is involved with several clubs on campus as a cabinet member and plays the flute as part of the Symphonic Band. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to and playing music.
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