Academic assistance during distance learning

PHOTO: Student 2 Student Help is a program created by senior Frankie Saraniti to encourage students to reach out for help on schoolwork from peers.

By Priscilla Lee and Maria Anderson, Staff–

With the new quarter system shortening the semester period for each class, students may find themselves zooming through classes without retaining as much of the material. If students are stuck on a certain concept after going to a teacher’s office hours or need help revising essays, there are several free tutoring resources available.

By Priscilla Lee, Editor--

Academic Center

As contracts with UC Davis tutors were approved on Sept. 24, Elodia Alvarez, the Academic Center Program Supervisor of three years, hopes to have the program up and running again by the end of September or early October.

The Academic Center accepts all DHS students and operates on a drop-in basis. Students who stop by for assistance will be paired with a UC Davis tutor who specializes in the subject at hand. “I’m a true believer that the most important thing for anyone to do is to reach out for help,” Alvarez said.

Although online this year, Alvarez plans to continue the monthly Academic Center awards system because it’s important “students realize that they are being noted [...] and that we’re actually paying attention to their hard work,” she said.

The Academic Center will be open from 12-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Zoom link will be sent out to DHS staff and will be made available to all students.

Math and Science Tutors (MAST)

While the Academic Center prepares its virtual opening, the Math and Science Tutors club has taken over the reins in helping students with STEM subjects, according to senior Eithne Arsuaga-Vazquez, the club president. 

“Everyone’s gonna need help at some point and we’d like to provide a resource for people to be able to access easily when they do need that support, when they do need that help, and just help them as much as possible because there’s nothing wrong with needing help,” she said.

While meetings are on Zoom, the club has been using Slack to “manage logistics, send out meetings links, and ask/answer questions,” according to its Instagram. The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:15 p.m. for this quarter.

Student 2 Student Help

Student 2 Student Help is a non-school affiliated program that provides tutoring resources and sessions for all subjects. According to Arsuaga-Vazquez, who is one of the main tutors, fellow senior Frankie Saraniti initiated the program this past spring for anyone in need of help. 

Students in grades 1-12 are able to schedule one-on-one Zoom appointments with high school students through the website.

In addition to these local resources, there are free online courses and practice materials at Khan Academy. The College Board also began a new series of AP Daily videos on their Youtube channel.

By Maria Anderson, Staff--

School closures in Davis due to COVID-19 have led to rising stress levels, shorter attention spans, and a rush to hire tutors.

Some students lack motivation — and that includes college students. Inez Anders, director of tutoring services at UC Davis, believes that students have lost their motivation to get their work completed.  

“When on campus students have dedicated time to get things done; being remote makes it a little more difficult to plan that time in,” Anders said.  

UCD is utilizing their resource center for students to make sure that students are on top of their work and staying organized. The resource center has been using drop-in support for students to be able to work with each other and help with any questions they might have.  

For this academic year, UCD has 260 tutors using their knowledge to help the students in what they need, according to Anders.  

High school students are struggling with time management and are turning to tutors to provide structure.   

“The hardest part is probably what it has always been, keeping students engaged with their material during a tutoring session,” math and science tutor Talisman Doringer said.  

Doringer claims that even though remote learning might be tough on the kids, “educators are doing tremendous work in efforts to adapt their institutions and provide equitable education to students.” 

Keeping students focused, engaged and motivated are the top priorities.   

“A student needs to be internally motivated about what they want to achieve,” secondary math tutor Melanie Bowden said.  

Davis High also has an Academic Center which will soon reopen. “We hope to have UCD tutors in place through the Academic Center soon to assist students in most of our academic subjects,” Principal Tom Mchale said.

Every year, DHS is able to provide help to students with these tutors in most subjects including English, STEM, history and many more.  

Other students are seeking help from their classmates, with mixed success. “It’s a lot more difficult if you’re struggling in a class,” senior Natalie Bercutt said.  

These struggles can lead to all kinds of anxiety which is why McHale is making sure students are provided social and emotional support from counselors in addition to academic help.

Not only are counselors and teachers reaching out, tutors for students have also helped them get to a place where they feel comfortable.  

Tutors work their hardest at all times especially in motivating students to create goals for themselves. “I can help them to reach their goals but the motivation needs to come from within,” Bowden said.

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