Posted 7:21 AM 9/11/2012 : TUSD hopes free math tutoring will boost academic achievement
TUCSON- The Tucson Unified School District is trying to boost achievement, after receiving a not-so-stellar grade from the state for last year.
Once again, the district is offering free math tutoring to students on Saturdays, made possible by volunteers from the National Society of Black Engineers and UA engineering students.
Ariana Williams is a junior at Rincon High School who has been taking advantage of the free math tutoring since 7th grade.
"We go through the problems and I ask for help and sometimes we make up new problems and I try to figure them out," Williams says.
She's one of hundreds of TUSD students who work through their homework with the tutors.
"We take what the teacher is teaching and then kind of build upon what they're already learning in school," says Tutor Khary Tatum, who works as an engineer at Raytheon.
Tatum has been tutoring for the past four years. He says a lot of the students just need that extra push. "We give a little more one on one time than what you would get in a classroom," Tatum says. "If you're in a classroom for 45 or 50 minutes, the teacher is teaching to all the students and they often don't have time to give one on one time," Tatum says.
The extra time is more crucial than ever. For the past two years the state has given TUSD a "C" letter grade for overall academic performance. District leaders say a big part of the problem is math.
"Math can be difficult for many students," says African American Student Services Director Jimmy Hart. "This is an opportunity for those students to practice what they've already learned and work on skills they'll be learning in the next few weeks."
The district hopes the tutoring will eventually bump up the grade from a "C", to a "B" and eventually it hopes to get that "A".
Students like Williams are proof that it's possible. "Right now I'm taking three AP classes and if I hadn't gone to Saturday math tutoring, I wouldn't be able to," Williams says.
The tutoring is available to TUSD students in grades 3-12 and continues on weekends through May 11th.
The free math tutoring sessions will be held at Roberts-Naylor K-8 School, 1701 S. Columbus Blvd. from 10 a.m. until noon.
Dates for tutoring:
· Sept. 8, 15, 22
· Oct. 13, 20, 27
· Nov. 10
· Dec. 1, 8, 15
· Jan. 26
· Feb. 2, 9, 16
· March 2, 9, 23
· April 6, 13, 20
· May 11
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