Tutorials costly, but extra study time helpful to those who are most involved

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Artwork by Ellie Zak '14

Artwork by Ellie Zak '14

Typical South students are entangled among multiple extracurricular activities, most likely in addition to several honors or Advanced Placement courses. The Grosse Pointe community emphasizes involvement and achievement, and as a result, students devote hours of their time to the afterschool activities important to them, from sports to music and publications.

To excel in both the classroom and extracurricular activities, many of these students have found it necessary to enroll in tutorials; there is not always enough time in the day. Considerations of cutting tutorials from the school day show there is not a full awareness of the importance of these classes to students.

Some teams, such as boys hockey, have three hour practices almost every day, and for these athletes, tutorials are the only reasonable way for them to stay on track in their classes. Choir students commit themselves to hours of after-school rehearsal, as well. Other teams, such as boys and girls tennis, must often miss school for away matches and tournaments, and tutorials allow these students to get caught up.

Tutorials are a costly entity; however, their worth must also be noted.

 Not all students use them effectively, and tutorials can become a wasted free space during the day used for chatting with friends, listening to iPods and taking naps. But high school students are responsible enough to realize the helpfulness of their tutorial period, and if they don’t take advantage of the opportunity, it is their loss of credit hours.

 For those students who challenge themselves both during and after school and actually need the extra work time, they will find the usefulness of them. More importantly, tutorials enable these students to put forth their strongest academic work while also succeeding in extracurricular activities.

 Among other benefits, tutorials offer students the computer and internet access they may not always have at home. For seniors, they are the perfect time to work college applications. And for kids needing to drop out of class, tutorial may be the only place for students to go. To get rid of tutorials would be a scheduling nightmare.

 Teachers who have a tutorial hour, too, can use the period to the benefit of students and themselves alike. For one, it is an extra 50 minutes to update Pinnacle, create lesson plans and grade tests and essays. It is also a chance for students to meet with their teachers to get help with concepts they don’t understand or go over assignments in greater detail. English and Math Support tutorials, for example, give struggling students the chance to work closely with teachers. And with students having to miss classes for sporting events, field trips and illness, the tutorial period is a great time for scheduling make-up tests.

 Much of the tutorial’s benefits come down to what the student makes of it. It is, after all, a period with very few requirements. But at South, it has become apparent that with the amount of homework assigned and the many hours extracurricular activities consume, tutorials have become a very important part of the school day for the hundreds of students enrolled in them.

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