Student Study Center has negligible impact on “failing freshmen” grades

Natalia Gevara, Entertainment Editor

Last year at this time, the class of 2017 found itself the subject of great scrutiny when it was revealed that, of the 559 freshmen at Bear Creek, 16 percent had a GPA of 1.0 or lower and 23 percent had two or more F’s.

To address this issue, the administration began to implement the tutoring program to raise students’ passing rates.

Overall, these measurements have proven to be a success. According to Vice Principal Sera Baysinger, in the fall semester of 2014, 21 percent of sophomores were reported to have two or more F’s, and only eight percent were reported to have four or more F’s.

The improvement may be slight, but it is progress. The new tutoring program has been credited for helping the sophomores raise their grades.

“When I came to tutoring, it helped me learn stuff I didn’t know,” sophomore Zakery Elders said. “So when I got to class, I already knew what to do.”

Bear Creek currently holds tutoring in nine classrooms every Tuesday and Thursday and has 137 tutees, Fifty-eight of the tutees are sophomores placed due to last year’s grades, with the remaining 79 students were referred by staff members.

“I was struggling in Spanish, but my tutor is a really good Spanish tutor — my grade went up from a C to an A,” sophomore Mark Cortez said.

Although the program has enabled some students to raise their grades, attendance has become an issue among tutees. Only 79 tutees attend tutoring regularly, and 58 tutees have eight or more absences. Of the 58 who are absent regularly, 20 are from the initial 10th grade referral group.

“In our group, there’s not a lot of people that come frequently,” junior tutor Juhee Park said. “That’s probably because they’re not getting the help that they need or they think that tutoring isn’t going to help them.”

Another program that the administration hopes will address not just grades, but behavior, is the restorative practice program. Restorative practice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by negative behavior by offering mediation to both victim and offender.

“The overall goal of restorative justice is to have students really reflect on what their wrongdoing was,” conflict mediation teacher Lisa Deeter said. “When a student acts up in class, not only does it affect that kid, it affects the teacher and the students around them — it helps students have a bigger picture of how their behavior affects other people.”

The program has slowly been implemented since December.

“We’re somewhat starting it, but it’s baby steps because we want to do it well,” Deeter said.
Although the class of 2017 had a rough start academically, the beginnings of restorative practice and the tutoring program are proving to help change the sophomores’ reputation and passing rates for the better.

“I feel like if we continue this way, our class will definitely have a greater future,” sophomore Justin Ho said.