With the pandemic causing schools to operate in unique ways, students may need additional academic support from the school system or outside tutoring services.
Cheshire High School Principal Mary Gadd said the school provides support by certified teachers.
“We have skills and discipline support for writing, reading, math, including after hours online help, science, business, world language and career and technical education lab time,” she said.
Cheshire High also offers organizational and study skills support by certified teachers in all departments. Study halls are designed to help students complete their work. Peer tutoring is also an option.
Staff is also offering office hours for the first time.
“New this year, each Wednesday teachers hold office hours and provide one-to-one support for students,” Gadd said.
Enzo Zocco, principal of Sheehan High School in Wallingford, said that because of changes to instruction he has seen a decrease in the need for tutorial
“This year, as a result of our instructional model of providing students with both, in-person and virtual-live learning sessions with their teachers, students that have special circumstances in their educational programs actually have more opportunity for face to face time with their teachers, either in-person or through virtual-live sessions,” Zocco said. “As a result, there has been less of a need for tutorial support.”
Crest Educational in Wallingford has resumed one on one in person tutoring services.
“We moved and pivoted more to an online virtual learning platform in the spring and over the summer, we continued that with many students,” said Dan Murphy, co-owner. “As the school year approached, we discussed with parents and students and teachers about what the best course of action is so we opened back up on a limited capacity basis...there is strict social distancing and separate entrances are used for separate purposes. Everybody wears their masks.”
Crest Educational is also offering a place where students can participate in school distance learning. The company’s five staff members have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education.
“They can come and use our facility so that they still feel like they're still going into the school atmosphere, but then they have the safety of our area where they have their own distance learning zone,” said Camila Gabriel, co-owner. “They bring their own Macbook or ChromeBook, headphones, that sort of thing. They sit and do their work here and one of our tutors is usually here to assist them.”
Even though learning has to be done in new ways to abide by the protocols the pandemic has created, there has not been an increase of enrollment at Crest Educational.
“I think that a lot of parents are feeling that (educational assistance) is definitely a necessity,” Gabriel said. “There is a need for it, however I do think because of a lot of the financial hardship that a lot of families have undertaken I think that they have not committed to enrolling for fear of what might come. We have an absolute increase in calls and inquiries, but not enrollment.”
According to Murphy, the hardships that remote learning has created depends on the student’s learning style.
“It definitely depends on the individual,” Murphy said. “I’ve had some students who saw a benefit from being remote. Having a different kind of schedule, having a different kind of timetable … Some expressed that to us that they prefer, at the very least, some sort of hybrid model.”
“Some students expressed that they did like the independence that they gained from this new system where some kids were really greatly affected because they missed the social aspect and the interaction with their educator,” Gabriel added. “It really all depends on the personality and the home situation of the student as far as how they were impacted.”