After almost a full year of research and collaboration, the newly appointed Guidance Advisory Committee (GAC) recently released a report containing recommendations for the school to consider in planning its future. Though most of these recommendations are well-reasoned and likely to yield positive results, the suggestions of making tutorial mandatory and in the middle of the day and creating Titan 102 for sophomores is not only impractical, but if implemented, will only negatively impact students’ abilities to make decisions for themselves and decrease student productivity.
For students, moving tutorial to the middle of the day and extending Titan 101 to Titan 102 makes little sense. Obviously, shifting tutorial will mandate a schedule change, which will require months of debate and deliberation. And regardless of the methods used, mandatory tutorial will be almost impossible to enforce. Closing the campus will not guarantee that students go into classrooms; many will most likely wander around campus or sneak out anyways. Having a system like Palo Alto High School’s in which students sign into classrooms will mean restricting students who need help in a variety of areas to one classroom. In the end, trying to keep students in the right classroom at the right time will be a logistical nightmare.
Also, if the school makes tutorial compulsory, it will be sacrificing student self-reliance and positivity for a limited amount of greater academic success. Students will essentially be robbed of the opportunity to make their own decisions about their academic careers. The fact is, that some students need to go tutorial every week, some need to go occasionally and some don’t need to go at all. The key point is that students should be allowed to determine for themselves which category they fit under. As for students who need to go to tutorial but choose not to, a more effective way of making sure they get the help they need will be having teachers ask students specifically to come to tutorial when needed. If students are not allowed to make even simple decisions like whether or not they need extra help in a subject, then administrators will be sending a wrong message to students that their grades matter more than their maturing into responsible and independent members of society.
In addition, it makes no sense for students who do not need additional help for their classes to be forced to attend tutorial. A student excelling in their studies yet lacking in extracurriculars should be able to spend tutorial time pursuing non-academic activities or just relaxing to reduce stress. Students will come to see tutorial not as a useful resource for succeeding in school, but as a restricting agent.
If tutorial is relocated to the middle of the day, students will lose opportunities to make the most of their short day. Currently, students who do not utilize tutorial can leave school to work on various activities, such as a job. However, with tutorial in the middle of the day, students who have no need for extra help will be stuck on campus with nothing to do.
Titan 102 will have many of the same fundamental issues that a compulsory, midday tutorial will have. Extending Titan 101 will be highly impractical for administrations. More teachers will be required to oversee students in these Titan 102 sessions, which will compound the already existing problem of teachers missing important meetings after school because of Titan 101.
Most importantly, sophomores are far more independent and busy than they were in freshmen year. They neither need nor have the time for Titan 102 sessions. By their second year of high school, these students do not need to have their academic and social progress in high school checked up on by teachers, which is the aim of Titan 102. Time effectively wasted in Titan 102 would be far better spent exploring the new opportunities presented by sophomore year.
Altering tutorial to make it compulsory and in the middle of the day and expanding Titan 101 into Titan 102 will not resolve the issues of each program; instead, it will only hurt student independence and workload while causing problems for the administration. If GAC wishes to improve the two programs, then it should more closely consider the student opinion. For example, many students complain of teachers not being present during tutorial. In that case, the administrators should work on accountability for teachers to be available to their students. Many students also criticize Titan 101 for being unnecessary and time-consuming. Perhaps the best course of action should then be to downsize the program rather than expanding it. These are the types of solutions that the school should research and promote for future years.
—Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the staff (assenting: 45; dissenting: 1; abstaining: 2)