There are lots of places to get academic help

Loss of flex does not mean loss of opportunities for assistance


Ashlynn Bakemeyer

The Learning Commons, which is located on the first floor of Loretto Hall, is just one of the places where students may receive academic help, despite the lack of flex this year.

Ella Bundy, Reporter

Covid-19 has brought many changes to learning this year, such as the loss of flex, longer periods between classes and a change in the ways a student can stay before and after school. This leaves students with an unusual schedule that makes finding time for extra help harder.

But the opportunities to receive academic assistance still are available. 

Mr. Mark Matthews, vice principal for academics, said, “Covid has changed how students can get extra help. It’s not necessarily any better or any worse. It does require a bit more planning and self advocacy for students. Schoology and Zoom are simply tools to help facilitate the process of learning. Students need to know what works best for them and then find ways to make those strategies happen in their own lives.”

Students can get extra help with their teachers by setting up an individual time before and after school to meet, asking questions of teachers through Zoom or using the flex/lunch (“flunch”) that takes place every Mission Monday. 

There are other places to go, however.

Matthews said, “Student tutors are available every period of the day in the Learning Commons for math help. We have access to an online tutoring app called Nexus that can be used either on campus or at home for help in math. We also have (English teacher) Dr. (Stephanie) Kucsera who directs the Writing Center, and student tutors are available for writing help there on a regular basis. No sign ups are required for the Learning Commons, but students do need to make an appointment for the Writing Center.”

The Learning Commons is run by Mr. Parker Leisure, who works with an outside organization called Crossroad Connections.

Director of learning resources Mrs. Sheila Roberts said, “The idea is to get students the opportunity to work with other students as mentors. Parker Leisure trained these students to be able to be tutors for all levels of math. The learning resource center is right next to Mrs. (Melinda) Bundy’s room in Loretto.”

The Learning Commons, which is also in Loretto but is downstairs from the LRC, is a place where students can receive help with math, writing, time management skills and organization skills. Math teachers are in the Learning Commons during C, D and F periods to help students. There are also online resources for students who cannot be at school in person or who don’t have the time to go to the Learning Commons. 

Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford said, “Khan Academy is a very well known website. He’s very easy to understand and has short videos about all kinds of math topics. It’s not just the lower math, he actually goes higher to calculus. There is also the Rose-Hulman’s Homework Hotline, where you can call in and ask for help with any sort of math homework. The information for this is located in the guidance office. They’re open from Sunday night to Thursday night, and are staffed by kids who are willing to help.”

Matthews said, “Ideally, students who need extra help from teachers should contact those teachers directly to set up the best time to get together. If a student’s resource period matches up with a teacher’s planning period, that is a possible time when teachers may offer extra help. If not, teachers and students can almost always find an agreed-upon time to get together. I still encourage students to utilize the Learning Commons and Writing Center during their resources.”