Is It Worth It To Duck and Cover?


Graphic by Miranda Li.

Every Tuesday students are granted 30 minutes to meet with teachers, catch up on work or review for tests. Tutorial is a necessity, and the numerous occasions upon which the administration has commandeered it for situational drills is upsetting. In the fast-moving, work-heavy schooling environment we live in now, a weekly space to catch up on work is incredibly useful. If tutorial is designed to be a time dedicated to allowing students extra time for schoolwork, it should not be interfered with on a frequent basis. However, while students consider tutorial a time created only for them, it wasn’t always designed to be that way.

“When we first discussed adding tutorial to the schedule,” Assistant Principal Galen Rosenberg said. “It was the plan that it would be used as tutorial for everyone but also for drills and other activities. That was the plan, and we have been consistent with it since.”

One of the main faults in this plan is that students cannot be able to focus and finish work without this guaranteed time, and unexpected fire drills and other events that take up this time only increase student stress. By having a set time for a work period, students will be able to feel comfortable in knowing that each week, they will have time to do what is necessary for them to succeed.  

When the administration needs a time set aside for drills –– fire, earthquake, code red –– another day of the week should be converted into a tutorial schedule, and the time used for the drill. Last week, administration did exactly that to accommodate the end of year slideshow. Monday was converted to a Tuesday tutorial schedule, and the tutorial period spent watching the video. However in order to compensate, Tuesday was kept as tutorial, and the time given to all students to work or meet with teachers as they please.

In the rare occasion that the drill needs to be conducted on a Tuesday for whatever reason, another day replaces the tutorial lost on that Tuesday. The reason for this rescheduling lies in the value of tutorial. The decrease in total class time last week was unnoticeable, but the benefit of having a tutorial was immense. Having a time for students to work on homework or classwork is invaluable and should be required every week.

During the week of May 16, the school will be adding another tutorial schedule in the hopes of appeasing the desires of the majority of the student body. This decision is a major step forward by the administration in increasing the importance of the tutorial period and thus will lead to a much more productive time for students during school hours. 

The solution to the issue of tutorials lies in the need for more of the weeks with an allotted tutorial schedule to go with the other event that takes the place of the tutorial period. By giving the students the time they need to do their work each week, the school can not only reduce student stress over their homework load but also increase efficiency and boost the morale of students and teachers alike.