The Paly Voice

Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

Students+remain+in+their+sixth+period+Advanced+Placement+Biology+class+during+the+first+Tutorial+period+of+the+school+year+on+Aug.+14.+Compulsory+Tutorial+has+drawn+criticism+from+those+who+preferred+the+Flex+periods+of+last+year%2C+but+many+students+and+staff+recognize+the+need+for+a+more+rigid+system.+%E2%80%9CThis+the+best+situation+to+be+able+to+be+able+to+actually+teach+us+instructional+minutes%2C%22+sophomore+Jonathon++Youngquist+said.+%22And+also+to+make+sure+that+everyone%E2%80%99s+actually+working+and+not+off+doing+something+else.+This+is+the+best+compromise.%E2%80%9D%0A
Back to Article
Back to Article

Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

Students remain in their sixth period Advanced Placement Biology class during the first Tutorial period of the school year on Aug. 14. Compulsory Tutorial has drawn criticism from those who preferred the Flex periods of last year, but many students and staff recognize the need for a more rigid system. “This the best situation to be able to be able to actually teach us instructional minutes,

Students remain in their sixth period Advanced Placement Biology class during the first Tutorial period of the school year on Aug. 14. Compulsory Tutorial has drawn criticism from those who preferred the Flex periods of last year, but many students and staff recognize the need for a more rigid system. “This the best situation to be able to be able to actually teach us instructional minutes," sophomore Jonathon Youngquist said. "And also to make sure that everyone’s actually working and not off doing something else. This is the best compromise.”

Margaret Li

Students remain in their sixth period Advanced Placement Biology class during the first Tutorial period of the school year on Aug. 14. Compulsory Tutorial has drawn criticism from those who preferred the Flex periods of last year, but many students and staff recognize the need for a more rigid system. “This the best situation to be able to be able to actually teach us instructional minutes," sophomore Jonathon Youngquist said. "And also to make sure that everyone’s actually working and not off doing something else. This is the best compromise.”

Margaret Li

Margaret Li

Students remain in their sixth period Advanced Placement Biology class during the first Tutorial period of the school year on Aug. 14. Compulsory Tutorial has drawn criticism from those who preferred the Flex periods of last year, but many students and staff recognize the need for a more rigid system. “This the best situation to be able to be able to actually teach us instructional minutes," sophomore Jonathon Youngquist said. "And also to make sure that everyone’s actually working and not off doing something else. This is the best compromise.”

Nisha McNealis and Ria Pai

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Students remain in their sixth period Advanced Placement Biology class during the first Tutorial period of the school year on Aug. 14. Compulsory Tutorial has drawn criticism from those who preferred the Flex periods of last year, but many students and staff recognize the need for a more rigid system. “This is the best situation to be able to be able to actually teach us instructional minutes and also to make sure that everyone’s actually working and not off doing something else,” sophomore Jonathon Youngquist said. “This is the best compromise.” Photo: Margaret Li

As Palo Alto High School students settle into a new school year, they are adjusting to a revamped Tutorial system that requires students to remain in one class for the entire period.

Many students were surprised by the sudden shift from Flex to Tutorial and pointed out the downsides of limiting students to one class each Tutorial period.

“Once you pick a class you can’t move to a different class, so if you need help in multiple classes you can only go to one each Tutorial period,” sophomore Jonathon Youngquist said. “For example, if you miss a couple days of school and you need to talk to each individual teacher you can only go to one class in Tutorial, so it’s harder to coordinate and make up lost work.” 

Senior Oscar Liu expressed similar frustration with the changes.

“It [Tutorial] feels really different,” Liu said. “I liked last year’s [Flex] a little more.”

Other students and staff were reticent to evaluate the new system so soon.

“We’ve got to get through the first couple weeks,” history teacher Jack Bungarden said. “It’s a culture shift.” 

Sophomore Ethan Chen agreed that it was too soon to discount the new system.

“I think we should give it some time to see how it’s going to turn out,” Chen said.

Despite the challenges of rolling out a new bell schedule, Principal Adam Paulson stressed that Tutorial will retain much of the flexibility of last year’s system.

“You can still go to see a teacher and ask questions, you can go to the testing center and make up a test, you can go to the weight room and lift weights if you need to, and you can go to Guidance and Wellness,” Paulson said. “You’ll still have that kind of freedom that we like to give you. We just have to check in and stay in one place.”

According to Paulson, the shift from Flex to Tutorial was motivated by the need to add instructional minutes to the bell schedule to meet state requirements. 

“We’re no longer able to do that Flex-type of period,” Paulson said. “It [Tutorial] has to count as instructional minutes now, so we have to use it accordingly.”

Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson was optimistic about the modifications to Tutorial.

“It [Tutorial] is a work in progress,” Berkson said. “So far I like it a lot. Kids are in class. Hopefully they’re getting work done.”

According to Paulson, the administration will collect student and teacher feedback about Tutorial through a survey this week. Until then, Berkson hopes that students will remain open-minded about the changes.

“I think eventually once students start grinding and doing work they’re going to say, ‘this is actually great,'” Berkson said. “If I had Tutorial when I was in high school, I probably would have been a good student.”

Additional reporting by Dylan Zou, Ellie Krugler and Jevan Yu.

About the Contributors
Nisha McNealis, Managing Editor

Nisha is a senior at Palo Alto High School and Managing Editor of The Paly Voice. She also debates for the Paly Speech and Debate team and plays tennis,...

Margaret Li, Staff Writer

Photos portfolio for Voice.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Community voices its support for affordable housing

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Administration deploys crisis team in response to death of senior

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    GoFundMe for teacher’s family raises over $215,000

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Students, district cope with death of middle school teacher

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Recap: Creating a Culture of Consent

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Changing of the guard for school board

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    District cites security, streamlining for student password reset

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Turkey Trot relocated to Peery Center

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Board revises previous agreement with police

  • Students, staff react to mandatory Tutorial

    News

    Service fair to showcase community service opportunities

Navigate Right