In 2014, Upper School Senate representative Hallie Black ’14 attempted to start a peer-tutoring program. But with only a few tutors offering assistance in math and science, her effort lacked student support.
In 2015, Upper School Senate President AJ Naddaff ’15 attempted to revamp the peer-tutoring program once again. “Students do not sign up for specific tutors, but rather for subjects they need help in,” he wrote for an opinion piece in The Gator. “By doing so, we hope to offer as much help to as many students as possible, without overburdening any one tutor..” But Nadaff’s program also floundered once he graduated, as no returning students took over the reigns.
Confident that they have learned from previous missteps, in November, Upper School Senate representatives Jack Donnelly ’18 and Geo Echebiri ’18 launched another peer-tutoring program.
Donnelly and Echebiri regularly advertise peer tutoring meeting times and locations, with sign-up sheets posted around campus. Only a few months in, though, both find that the recently launched program is facing some of the issues that plagued Naddaff’s efforts.
“One of the biggest problems that we have been facing so far is that students are not utilizing the program as much as we had hoped,” says Donnelly. “We hope teachers will encourage students to use the program as much as possible, and to first turn to their peers before an adult for assistance.”
Donnelly says that the program has highly qualified peer-tutors for assistance in every academic subject. “Students have advanced knowledge and experience for subjects that they tutor, and they have received approval from respective teachers.”
Echebiri says that he is working hard on making signing-up easy and convenient, a lack of which contributed to the struggles of previous programs, he says.
“So far, we have been able to organize a working schedule,” says Echebiri. “We are still working out the kinks, making sure the tutors are in the right place at the right time.”
In this respect, Donnelly is currently building a website for peer tutoring to further streamline scheduling. “Hopefully, it will be ready by the end of January.”
Upper School Head Joshua Neudel, who also serves as Upper School Senate Advisor, is optimistic that peer tutoring will gain traction. “I think there are a lot of benefits to students helping tutor other students.” he says. “ I am very excited that the program is being rebooted.”