KLC Tutoring Program Tries New Approach


By Olivia Kim, Associate Online Editor-in-Chief
A new student-built leadership team directing the KLC Tutoring Program is implementing new changes to the program in hopes of reaching out to more students.
Junior Vani Sharma noticed as a tutor last year that the program wasn’t receiving a lot of requests for help, so she reached out to Associate Principal Scott McDermott with some ideas to try to improve the program. 
“It was disheartening to sit during my lunch period and feel unproductive in regards to teaching my peers,” Scharma said. 
Sharma worked with McDermott over the summer to reinvent the program after she became the head of the leadership team which now consists of eight other students. The team works collaboratively to oversee the program and make improvements to it. It is hoped that decisions are made with the students front mind with its new student led dynamic. 
“Sometimes we [adults] miss our marks,” McDermott said, “but when you bring kids into the mix, because [they are] the ones living it, an empathy-based decision making model makes things improve.”
The new leadership team has created the training process for tutors which invites teachers to participate and act as a resource to provide guidance and expertise. Now teachers will have to collaborate with the students in a way very different from the past because they are also being guided by the students on how training should proceed. 
“That’s not an easy thing for us [teachers] to do,” McDermott said, “because most of us have been doing this for many years and sometimes we develop strong opinions, and those opinions aren’t [always] right, so I think it’s fantastic.”
Tutors will also be given training throughout the year. The first training session for tutors will be Thursday, August 22. 
The third change to the system is to expand the amount of time that students have to seek out help and to make the tutors more approachable. 
“I think, to me, the most significant change is that we are going to push the tutors to make sure they’re accessible to kids,” McDermott said. 
Tutors will now be required to be available two to three times a week, whereas in the past, the requirement was only once a week. There will be sessions available after school as well, along with the option to find a tutor during lunch periods. 
A lab in the KLC will be open for tutoring, so students can have private sessions in a more comfortable environment. 
Finally, a ‘no-friends’ policy has been established to prevent others from interrupting sessions and making sure that the tutor gives any student in need of assistance their undivided attention. 
A new position called ‘student leads’ is meant to direct students coming for help to a tutor that is proficient in a subject that the student needs assistance in and to enforce the ‘no friends’ policy.  
“I would like to create a better learning atmosphere for the students at Prospect,” Sharma said. “The takeaway of this program is to create a more collaborative atmosphere and a space where students can really push to be their best versions academically.”