What you need to know about seeking academic help


Jacob Cupps

Senior Andrew Osbourne contemplates calculus in an Academic Support Center (ASC).

One of the most challenging in America, Parkway West’s curriculum keeps students on their toes. Luckily, the school connects allows students access to many programs for academic success, including the Academic Support Centers (ASC), National Honor Society (NHS) tutors, and a new district-wide program called TutorConnection.

Each program offers specific help depending on student needs. Parkway West has ASC teachers in Science, Math, Social Studies and English, which are available before school, during lunch, and during any study hall.

“I came to the English ASC because I have a paper due tomorrow in Honors English II, and I was really confused on how to make it better and edit it and the ASC helped me me better understand how to fix claims,” sophomore Tanya Esmiel said.

Each ASC teacher has a background in their ASC subject.

“Freshmen come in all the time with random papers sticking out of a composition notebook.  By the time they leave their science notebook is organized with a table of contents.  Many times, after that, they are better about keeping up with the notebook along the way because they have seen how much work it is at the last minute,” Science ASC teacher Lauren Perez said.

The ASCs are a helpful resource to seek help for immediately upcoming tests and projects.

“We see a lot of Lab questions, people wanting to use books or computers to complete work for class, and we reteach concepts that students missed or didn’t understand,” Perez said. “We also help them find things in books, reteach concepts, solidify content vocabulary, communicate with science teachers to find out what is going on in classes, help with labs, graphs, lab write ups and notebooks.”

The English ASC has a similar focus for students seeking help with papers and vocabulary tests.
“We spend a lot of time editing papers and working on inferences as well as studying for vocab tests,” Kristen Witt said of the English ASC. “I help them realize their strengths and how they can improve whether it be through homework or classwork or in their writing.  We come up with a plan to improve.”

In addition, National Honor Society (NHS) offers tutors for specific classes, projects, those needing technology support and more. The tutoring is available to West’s students free of charge as a service project.

“NHS tutors provide one-on-one help in most classes offered at West,” NHS Sponsor Eileen Kiser said. “[The students’] teacher must be aware of the tutoring to sign off on their form.”

Interested students should contact their potential tutor based off the list of tutors for the 2014-2015 school year. NHS tutors make their own arrangements with those who request them can be made with individual tutors regarding dates and times. Some tutoring is done at West, before or after school, or at the student’s or tutor’s home.

“I met with an NHS tutor for math. We met in the library, and I found it very effective because it helped me excel in my math class,” junior Macky Kavanaugh said. “They helped me with radian measures, which didn’t make sense to me before they helped me out.”

Parkway has also introduced a new program called TutorConnection with Rockwood School District.

“The TutorConnection program connects certified Parkway teachers and other professionals with parents who are looking for private, fee-based tutoring lessons for their children at a Parkway location.  The focus is to improve students’ knowledge and skill-based performance of the district’s curricular concepts.” Kelly Regan said.

The fee for one-on-one tutoring is $49.50 per hour, with a two hour minimum purchase ($99 for 120 minutes). Once purchased, tutoring time can be used in any combination of 15 minute increments (i.e. 30, 45, 60, etc.). There may be small group tutoring options (maximum 3:1 ratio) available at a reduced fee in some subject areas, and all tutoring takes place at a Parkway district building.

“The TutorConnection program is designed to allow tutors to offer assistance to students in any of the district’s curricular subject areas.  Additionally, we have tutors that offer support with ACT prep and study skills. The TutorConnection program is designed around student’s needs.  Whether it is help on a project, an upcoming test or just assistance with daily tasks that a student needs help with the tutor will be able to work with them to achieve success.” Regan said.

The TutorConnection program is currently open for registration.  Families can view a list of tutors available district-wide at www.prcommunityed.org or contact the Community Education office at 636-733-2168 or [email protected]