Lower School Students Enjoying Mentorship From Upper School Tartan Tutors

St. Margaret’s grade 1 teacher Lauren Johnson first reached out to the Upper School’s Tartan Tutors student leadership group last year, as a way for students to receive extra help in certain subjects from a fellow Tartan.
 
It turned out to be a huge positive—both academically and socially.
 
“We found that our students absolutely lit up when their ‘big’ friends arrived,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Their engagement in lessons increased, as did their comprehension across many subject areas.”
 
As the 2022-2023 school year started, Mrs. Johnson and other Lower School teachers wanted those positive effects of Upper School mentorship to continue and perhaps even expand. The 22 Upper School seniors, juniors and sophomores serving as Tartan Tutors this year were happy to help. 
 
This year, grade 1 students are meeting regularly with the Tartan Tutors in small-group settings to work on various math activities and puzzles. It’s one of many ways that the Tartan Tutors are making a noticeable impact in the Lower School. 
 
“Our students are thriving, and the ‘big kids’ seem to be thoroughly enjoying the experience as well,” Mrs. Johnson said. 

The Tartan Tutor network is an Upper School leadership group that launched in 2019 as a way for students to help other students with their academic work and study strategies, and it has grown significantly in the years since. Learners gain both knowledge and confidence through the peer relationship, while student tutors—who are Upper School sophomores, juniors and seniors—experience the inherent benefits that teaching others provides.

Upper School assistant principal James Harris, who oversees the Tartan Tutors, said the program has served three main purposes:

·         Providing no-cost tutoring services to the school community.
·         Providing an opportunity for students to receive tutoring on campus during the school day, rather than adding another commitment to an often busy after-school schedule.
·         Serving as a community-building program, where older Upper School students can connect with younger Tartans.
 
This year, the Tartan Tutors program is expanding its services, providing one-on-one support to St. Margaret’s students of all ages, in addition to assisting teachers during regularly scheduled classes and tutorials. 
 
This week alone, Upper School students have been spotted serving throughout the Lower School. In addition to grade 1 math help, tutors have also assisted kindergartners with math concepts, and have been on hand to help students in the Lower School reading classroom as well. 
 
Families and teachers from all divisions can request tutoring support by contacting James Harris at jharris@smes.org.
 
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108
 
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