On Sept. 4, San Marin had its first tutorial of the year. This
is the first year tutorial has been implemented using the new format that provides students with a 50 minute period every Wednesday during the regular school day.
Last year’s tutorial schedule consisted of work time immediately preceding grading periods. This schedule was controversial because it took away half of instruction time for teachers on block days.
This year’s tutorial allows students to sign up for specific teachers to receive the targeted help they think they need, but teachers are also able to request
students who they believe would benefit from the targeted help the teachers can provide.
Expectedly, kinks need to be worked out and complaints have been filed due to the fact tutorial is not meeting all expectations. Mixed feelings have arisen from both staff and students.
“Tutorial itself as a process is implemented in every high performing high school in America,” Assistant Principal Katherine Warren said. “It allows for quicker, more regular check-ins and better communication with students and teachers.”
French Teacher Jeffery Moore said that the enforcement of a new tutorial schedule will be beneficial for both the students and faculty.
“Tutorial was created to provide academic support for students during the school day, as opposed to students seeking help either during lunch or after school,” Moore said.
NUSD has spent the past several years developing more intervention programs to help lower-performing students. San Marin has been working to provide support for students at the Learning Lounge, before school and at lunch, as well as at Saturday Academies.
Tutorial is designed to be both an intervention program and a scheduled time for students to make up absent work or use the time as a study hall period.
Students and teachers agree that tutorial has the right objectives, but hold differing opinions on how tutorial’s purpose will be carried out in classrooms. Most of them recognize that tutorial will not be perfected immediately.
“The staff voted [tutorial schedule] in, and for the most part they are on board,” Warren said. “Tutorial for both teachers and students is an extra step. It’s definitely a learning process.”
Faculty have noticed that not all students use tutorial time to its full extent. Without prompting from staff, many students, including those who teachers feel would most benefit from the additional work time, end up not being productive.
Some students are of the opinion that not all students are using tutorial wisely.
“A lot of kids who think they don’t need it are actually the ones who need it the most,” sophomore Lily El-Masri said.
Despite this, Warren said
that most “students understand the benefit and opportunity of (Tutorial), and they are taking advantage of it.