The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Tutorial Returns In the Most Exciting Way

Years of work went into planning tutorial, and a vote of Woodside staff will determine the schedule’s future.

Woodside High School piloted a new schedule from October 22 to November 2, introducing a thirty-five minute tutorial period to replace SSR.

“[Tutorial] started three or four years ago with a collab… group called the advisory task force,” Brooke Darmanin, Choir for Tutorial Advisory Task Force and Woodside staff member, explained.

Charles Velschow is the Administrative Vice-Principal at Woodside High School, as well as a member of the Tutorial Advisory Task Force with Darmanin.

“We looked at a number of sites,” Velschow stated, “and then decided the best option was to incorporate a tutorial period basically in lou of SSR— just make it a little longer.”

Tutorial is held after lunch with a student’s sixth or seventh period class, depending on if the day is an A or B day.

“We wanted to keep time free for students to go during lunch to their class boards or to their clubs,” Darmanin said.  “There are many students who take the bus or have alternative transportation and don’t have the freedom to arrive early to school or stay after school to meet with a teacher.”

Rather than reading silently, students can get a pass to finish work in another classroom if they missed school or need access to technology.

“Feedback that I’ve received from students is that [tutorial is] overwhelmingly a positive experience,” Woodside Spanish teacher Amy Hanson said.  “It’s been really useful for me in terms of being able to stay in contact with students about missing work or time that they can get help.”

Most Woodside students appreciate tutorial, using the free period efficiently to finish homework or meet with teachers for extra help.

“I like tutorial because I really enjoy having the time to get homework done in between classes,” Woodside senior Nathan Tsai said.

However, there are some concerns as to how tutorial would affect the school day schedule.

“Whenever we talk about changing instructional minutes or changing len of class periods, it changes how teachers can plan for things,” Darmanin said.

It’s been really useful for me in terms of being able to stay in contact with students about missing work or time that they can get help.

— Amy Hanson

Velschow also commented on challenges that tutorial presented.

“People are going to be in classrooms that are kind of perfect for an academic environment,” Velschow said, “and then [for] somebody who maybe has PE, that’s a little more challenging.  So to make sure that everybody has equal access to facilities and the ability to really do their homework and study is definitely a challenge.”

According to Darmanin and Velschow, approximately 75% of Woodside teachers need to approve tutorial, but student feedback will also be taken into account.

“You want a… vast majority of people agreeing that this would be a good change for the school,” Velschow said.

There is a high chance of tutorial being implemented in early February of next semester, and students’ hopes are high for the change of Woodside’s schedule.

“We’re just trying to do the most good for the most students possible with as little disruption as possible to our school day and calendar,” Darmanin summarized.

“I am all for tutorial!” Hanson remarked.

Tsai fully supports tutorial and hopes that it will return next semester.

“I think it came in the most exciting way,” Tsai said.

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About the Contributor
Taila Lee
Taila Lee, Coeditor in Chief
Taila Lee is the second-year coeditor in chief and a third-year reporter for The Paw Print. Along with winning regional and national awards from Journalism Education Association (JEA), SNO, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Lee is a member of KQED's Youth Advisory Board for 2019-2020. She has been featured on KQED’s Bay Curious podcast and 2019 Youth Takeover, and she co-taught a student press law workshop at the National JEA Convention in Washington D.C. in November. Lee plans to major in media studies and minor in journalism at UC Berkeley to empower youth and inspire change with journalism.

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