By Katelyn Bryant & Alexis Buncome
Hillsborough County Public Schools has partnered with PAPER to provide tutoring services to students in 6th through 12th grade. The school district says the service will provide “unlimited 24/7 one-on-one tutoring for all subjects.” It also will offer essay checks with one-day return rates.
Seventh grader Madison Geonzon said she likes the idea because “quarantined students may miss a lot of work and have to make up that same work when they get back to school.”
PAPER is supposed to help students, quarantined or in school, when they need extra help. The deal between PAPER and Hillsborough County Public Schools will cost $2.7 million for the year and was approved by the school board on Aug. 24.
“That seems like a lot of money,” said eighth grader Kayli Cushing. “They could donate to my college funding. But,” she added, ” I get why it’s necessary because … it’s estimated to be, like what, 100,000 tutoring sessions, or something.”
Geonzon said because so many students are not in the school (and others are still being quarantined), it will be harder for them to understand the material handed to them, so the tutoring will be pretty helpful. Plus, even many of the students in school struggle a lot when it comes to studying.
Along with 24/7 services, teachers are able to access all materials shared between students and tutors. This could give teachers the ability to show useful information to their class or explain a concept better to other students. It may also offer teachers the opportunity to see where their students are struggling.
Student Mia Rodriguez said she would not find the tutoring useful because she already finds it hard to ask for help with normal teachers. She said that “for introverted kids, it would be difficult because it’s hard enough for them to talk to people.” Rodriguez did acknowledge that this would be on fault with the student instead of the actual program, but she still hopes there might be a feature where she can go in anonymously.
During the board board meeting, Terry Connor, deputy superintendent and chief academic officer, said the program will help students.
“When they get home and they need that live support, they need that instruction, they don’t have that teacher and they may not have that support at home,” Connor said.