Administration adjusts Tutorial check-in policy

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    Junior Kathleen Gaffney studies in the library. Some students are worried that the library overcrowding—already severe during tutorial— will grow worse. “The library will become overcrowded since it was already pretty crowded when people weren’t required to stay for the entire length of Tutorial,” senior Rachel van Gelder said. Photo by Adrienne Kwok.

    Attendance will be recorded at the end of Tutorial beginning tomorrow at Palo Alto High School, according to a Schoology post by Principal Kim Diorio.

    The change of sign-in time from the beginning to the end of the period comes after a major shift in use of the period this year.

    In the post, Diorio mentions how it is the Palo Alto High School administration’s vision for Tutorial to be used as “Flex Time,” or time spent doing non-academic activities. This includes opportunities such as yoga on the Quad, socializing, reading and meditating. Students can also continue to work on academic material.

    The post also says that students will check in with their Tutorial teachers from 2:45 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. A warning bell will ring at 2:45 p.m. to remind students to check in.

    Math teacher Charlotte Harris understands the need for a new Tutorial attendance strategy.

    “I believe that the administration wants students on campus taking use of this time, even if it’s simply bonding with other people on campus,” Harris said. “They want people to stay, so it makes sense to take it [attendance] at the end [of Tutorial].”

    Student reactions to the change in policy are mixed.

    “I think it’s kind of a hassle that we have to check in at the end now, but I can see why they’re deciding to do it that way,” senior Rachel van Gelder said. “I know there are a lot of people who try to sneak out before Tutorial is over, so this will probably stop that from happening so often.”

    Junior Jenny Zhuge is against the new approach to attendance.

    “I just don’t like that they [administration] made Tutorial mandatory for everyone,” Zhuge said. “If you need help from teachers, then you should go and get help. But if you don’t, and are just going to waste your time at school anyways, then might as well go home. For some people, going home and finishing work might be more productive than staying at school.”

    According to junior Mackenzie Ferrell, Paly administration’s regulation of Tutorial will be beneficial to students in ways that are not related to school work.

    “Tutorial is a great way to get help, but if you don’t need to see a teacher you should be able to do fun things, and that is just what Paly administration is trying to do,” Ferrell said. “It is a good time to socialize and get to know your teachers.”

    Additionally, Diorio mentions in the post that students must notify the school of a pre-planned absence before leaving during Tutorial, or risk being forced to stay.

    “If you do need to leave campus, please have your parents contact the attendance office before Tutorial starts so you can pick up a pass to leave,” Diorio said in her post. “The campus supervisors/admin [administration] at the exits of school will ask to see the pass.”

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