Peer Tutoring Takes Off at FSSA
Peer tutoring at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts is a relatively new program, specifically geared toward students who need help in math and science. It was implemented and created a few years ago by Ms. Apostolidis, Assistant Principal of instruction and Ms. Elhalaby one of the math teachers. The program takes place during the school day and after school during the student’s free time. The program consists of student tutors who are willing to give up their free time to help their fellow classmates in math and/or science in return for community service hours.
“Many students need help with especially math and science. We don’t receive enough financial funding for teachers to tutor after work hours on a consistent basis, although many of our teachers do tutor before and after school without any financial gain there are still more students than teachers,” Ms. Apostolidis said. “We also did a little research and research states that students who tutor other students actually comprehend the information more for themselves and solidifies the instruction knowledge piece for them and students who are tutored by their peers are also more comfortable.”
Students who desire to be a tutor must have a 93 average or above in the subject or a recommendation from either their teacher or guidance counselor and is willing to work well with other students. Once that information is obtained Ms. Apostolidis sends out an interest form and asks students and parents to fill it out.
So far the program has been working very smoothly with tutors and students being tutored already paired and working.
“I wanted to be a peer tutor because of community service hours and it will help build my foundation of knowledge,” Caitlin Brozen, an 11th grade instrumental major, stated.
An email was recently sent out to inform staff, parents and students of this program. Students who wanted to get tutored filled out a short questionnaire and were appointed to an appropriate tutor. Teachers who feel that a student in their class needs help inform the student about peer tutoring and then give them the required form. Parents can also encourage their child to go to tutoring.
Overall, peer tutoring is supposed to benefit the student and the student tutor while, providing a comfortable way of receiving help and expanding ones horizon.
“The goals of this program are to develop interpersonal communication skills, to meet diverse groups of students across a variety of academic disciplines, and to reinforce and build upon knowledge of course content,” Ms. Apostolidis stated. “We want students to improve their grades but I want them to really love the subject and feel more comfortable and be successful in something they were struggling with. And if we can help students be better at math and science regardless of what they major in, it can be more helpful to them in the future.”
Lastly, if one wants to get involved with this program and meet the standards students can either see Ms. Apostolidis, their guidance counselor, or their teachers. If a student is struggling in either math or science they can reach out to their fellow peer tutors and ask for help. This program was designed to create lasting benefits short term and long term for both the student and the tutor which is a unique concept.
– by Sylvia Gao ’16