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Education

What’s Your Tutoring Plan?

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Photo from Kumon.

Local and virtual educational resources

After a year of normalcy lost to the pandemic, parents and educators have observed how students have fallen behind academic benchmark standards, and they’re coming up with innovative tutoring plans to ensure each student’s success.

The need for tutoring persists throughout both schools and private tutoring companies, such as Kumon and Mathnasium.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) was proactive in fighting the spread of COVID-19. To minimize contact between students and teachers, GCPS offered Digital Learning Days as well as access to Tutor.com, which offers daily live tutoring support 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Verywellfamily.com recognizes Tutor.com as a resource that provides the best variety of services. The site offers over 250 subjects ranging from kindergarten to college level, and employs professional, expert tutors to aid students. Their packages are personalized and based on the needs and goals of each individual student.

GCPS also grants students access to “drop-off support” where they can upload a document and receive tutor feedback.

AKS At Home

However, the burden of the pandemic still prevents students from reaching their full potential. Research provided by the U.S. Department of Education suggests COVID-19 “[widened] pre-existing disparities in core subjects like math and reading.”

While some students thrived in the self-paced environment of their homes, others who are more prone to distractions, as well as younger learners, struggled to keep up. To bolster the resources available to their students, GCPS provides parents with Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) At Home, “To empower parents with tools that allow them to help their children at home.”

According to the GCPS website, “The AKS at Home project provides math and language arts resources to support families of children in grades K-5 so that they truly are partners in their children’s learning.”

AKS is designed to suit the needs of each family. Families can “attend virtual meetings, view recorded information at a time that best fits their schedule, and gain tips and suggestions on how to [best] help their children through tip sheets on a wide variety of topics.”

Registration for live AKS Virtual sessions during the month of October is open for students K-12. For more information and to sign up, visit gcpsk12.org/Page/26993.

Kumon

For a more tailored approach, most private tutoring companies have a selective studying method and devise lesson plans around student needs.

Lakshmi Nagamohan, Instructor at the Kumon Math and Reading Center of Peachtree Corners, outlines Kumon’s concentrated methods.

“The Kumon of Peachtree Corners tailors lesson plans specifically for each student. We monitor our students closely and instruct accordingly as they solve worksheets. Students work at their own pace to complete each worksheet and progress through the levels of the program,” Nagamohan said.

With over four million students enrolled around the globe, Kumon is the world’s largest after-school math and reading program. However, they stress that their company isn’t just tutoring. Kumon differentiates itself through their continuous approach to learning and their ability to identify the root cause of why students are struggling.

Photo from Kumon

Kumon parent Anne Lapoire attests to Kumon’s specialized techniques and how it fits into her children’s classwork. “I love that they are accountable and need to complete a packet every day. I feel like it complements their school homework very well and gives them a good routine,” she said.

Mathnasium

Similarly, Mathnasium is a mathematics education franchise that reaches a broad range of students in grades K-12 with 1,000 learning centers in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Mathnasium customizes learning plans based on assessments taken by each student.

According to their website, the Mathnasium assessment “reveals each specific skill area that needs to be mastered so kids aren’t wasting time reviewing concepts they already know.”
Over the course of tutoring with Mathnasium, all teaching occurs during the sessions and students are given assessments to track their progress. The Mathnasium of Berkley Lake currently offers in-person and online instruction and serves the Berkeley Lake, Duluth, Peachtree Corners and Norcross communities. Their team of math experts provides math tutoring, training and homework help so students receive the tools and confidence to go further in school.

Education is not one size fits all. These are confusing times and learning from home can often lead to distractions and growing homework piles, so a helping hand can be much appreciated.
We hope that this information proves useful and helps fuel a fulfilling school year.

Tutoring Resources

Here are links to some of the tutoring services offered in the Peachtree Corners area.

Club Z!
clubztutoring.com/alpharetta

Kumon
kumon.com/peachtree-corners

Mathnasium
mathnasium.com/berkeleylake

The Tutoring Center
duluth.tutoringcenter.com
johnscreek.tutoringcenter.com

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Education

Simpson Elementary Cuts Ribbon on New Track

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Students now have facilities suitable for exercising the body as well as the mind.

For something to be important and special, it doesn’t necessarily have to be huge. That’s what Simpson Elementary students, staff and Peachtree Corners officials realized on Nov. 7 with the ribbon cutting of the school’s new track.

“Today is a joyous occasion because we’re here to celebrate the renovation of our school’s playground,” said Simpson Elementary Principal Dr. Taffeta Connery.

The four-month long project took a lot of effort. In addition to trimming the overgrowth of trees beyond the fence surrounding the track and a playground area, numerous potholes needed to be filled. The playground was leveled with truckloads of dirt and gravel, and the actual track was rubber striped.

What was once a potential hazard and mini wetland has been transformed into an inviting recreational space for students and staff to exercise. For safety reasons, the track isn’t open to the public.

“Not only is it attractive, but it’s also safe and enjoyable for all of you to run around and play,” said Dr. Connery.

Previously, the Simpson Superstars had to meet for Kilometer Club at the nearby YMCA. The renovated space now allows for a closer option right on school grounds.

Great schools, great communities

City representatives Councilmembers Lori Christopher, Phil Sadd and Mayor Pro Tem Weare Gratwick, along with City Manager Brian Johnson, were presented with an award of recognition and appreciation by Dr. Connery.

The officials received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and an abundance of thank you cards from the kindergarten class of the school before officially declaring the track open for walking, running and just enjoying the outdoors.

The kindergarteners gathered for the ceremony and applauded the efforts of the city as Dr. Connery presented Peachtree Corners with a plaque and flowers as tokens of appreciation.

“We always say that great schools build great communities, and in turn, great communities build great schools,” said Dr. Connery. “This Community Service Award is with our deepest appreciation for the City of Peachtree Corners.”

The students presented the thank you cards they’d made to city officials before everyone took a victory lap to break in the new track. The weather was a little warm for early November, but everyone agreed that it was perfect for a mid-morning stroll.

Simpson Elementary PTA Co-Presidents Mary Catherine Jennings and Dana Zamuel were also present to celebrate the school’s new addition. They both agreed that exercising the body is just as important as exercising the mind — especially with energetic elementary students.

The teachers are just as excited about the improvements as the children. Prior to the renovations, that area had such poor drainage that it often couldn’t be used for recess, nature walks or other school functions.

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Arts & Literature

GCPL’s 2023 Student Film Fest is Opened for Submissions

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Gwinnett County Public Library Announces Its First Annual Student Film Fest for the 2022-2023 School Year

When it comes to bonding and quality time among students, nothing proves more effective than a premium film fest. In light of this, Gwinnett County Public Library has taken this initiative down in its playbook by presenting the first annual Student Film Fest for the 2022-2023 school year.

According to the GCPL media alert, the festival will be held on March 11th, 2023, and it promises to showcase a lot of film screenings, an award ceremony, and an after-party with possible networking benefits, especially for young filmmakers.

Everyone in and outside the county was pretty excited about the news, more so when the video and film production company and media group, East2West, was announced to be the major sponsor for the program. This news, coupled with the fact that cash prizes and awards would be in abundance at the festival, has kept students and spectators on their toes as they wait for the day of the film fest in unbridled anticipation.

Subsequently, invitations were spread worldwide to students around the age of 11 and above from every grade in middle school, high school, and higher education. For a landmark project, the Gwinnett County Public Library might just make this Student Film Fest the best of its kind yet.

GCPL’s Rules for the 2023 Student Film Fest

Following the announcement of this film fest, calls were made to students from reputable institutions around the world to submit films of any genre. These films will be arranged into their respective categories, and winners in each category will receive awards and cash prizes. Submissions will open on November 1st, 2022, and close on January 22nd, 2023.

For a much wider reach, the GCPL decided to include other members of the public by demanding a representative from each student group who would attend the awards ceremony. This would form an eligibility clause for students seeking to win prizes.

But the directives did not stop there as the GCPL proceeded to outline several rules of conduct for the Film Fest. Here are excerpts of these rules:

  1. Students below the age of 18 must submit a completed entry form and video release form duly signed by a parent.
  2. The name of the school and year of study must be submitted.
  3. Films must include credits and an opening title.
  4. Films should run between a minimum of 2 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes.

For some semblance of order to take place throughout the Student Film Fest, it was paramount that these regulations be implemented thoroughly.

As for the prizes, GCPL stated that only the winners of the Best Picture award in each category would win $250. Trophies and certificates will be awarded to other winners, and the GCPL’s Learning Labs team will provide access to library resources for young filmmakers.

Additional information can be found at the library’s website.

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Education

Seven Norcross High School Students Named as National Merit Semifinalists

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Norcross High School

Nina Ballerstedt, Dylan Christensen, Jordan Katz, Logan Lewis, Holden Thomas, Jonah Wu and Sean Zhong — all students at Norcross High School — have been named as Semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The Semifinalists were determined by the students’ scores on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). They are among 16,000 students from across the nation competing for National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and the high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

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