Mandatory Tutorial has its pros

Juliana Moraes-Liu and Noa Braun

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Editor’s Note: The opinions and attitudes expressed by the authors are those of the authors and not necessarily of the publication’s editorial board.

For struggling students, mandatory Tutorial is a benificial idea. Starting in 2012, Tutorial has been made mandatory for students receiving D’s and F’s in an administrative effort to assist students who currently have “failing grades.”

Introduced last year, Tutorial is Paly’s Palo Alto High School support period when students are given time to visit teachers in order to receive extra help or do homework and study. Although students are asked to sign in to the classroom they attend, students who do not sign in are not given “cuts.” However, starting on Jan. 3, selected students will be receiving “cuts” if they do not attend their designated class.

Although mandatory Tutorial may be a nuisance for certain students, we believe that the administration is justified in requiring that students with “failing grades” attend Tutorial.

Tutorial is an opportunity for students to use their time productively. Many choose to make up tests, ask teachers for assistance, and do homework, but others choose to spend time with friends and relax.

Relaxing during Tutorial helps alleviate stress, which is important. However, students who are struggling to pass their classes should be using the extra hour on Tuesdays to get caught up on material — whether that be asking a teacher for support or studying for an upcoming test.

Some consider selecting students to attend mandatory Tutorial to be an unfair punishment, as it singles out the students that are chosen, but the administration is doing its job to try to help these students improve their grades. Tutorial is specifically designed to provide students with extra help, though many do not embrace the opportunity to do so

Once students no longer have D’s and F’s, they will be allowed to choose how to spend their Tutorial time.

Many argue that there are alternate causes to low grades, and that forcing students to go to a classroom during Tutorial will not assist them with their grades. Although this argument is valid in many cases, we believe that the extra help can be beneficial to students, and that mandatory Tutorial does not prevent anyone from providing better solutions as well.

However, we fear that mandatory Tutorial, although with good intentions, may take away from students’ grades in other classes. Students who are sent to the English Resource Center, due to multiple failing grades, will not necessarily be assisted by their own teachers. Asking teachers one does not know for assistance may be less helpful to the students and provide a less productive environment, as teachers tend not to know what other teachers’ have assigned. Also, students may feel uncomfortable asking teachers they do not know for guidance.

Additionally, by requiring students to meet with a certain teacher, students lose the opportunity to receive support from teachers whose classes they are not failing, and lose the opportunity to make up tests and quizzes, which can severely affect one’s grades.

By requiring students with D’s and F’s to attend Tutorial with the teacher whose class they are failing, the administration takes a step toward helping students improve their grades. However, one must consider the consequences of requiring students to remain in one location throughout the duration of Tutorial.