Teens rely on their peers for many things, but at one high school, there is a focus on improving student relationships with tutoring.

At Big Horn High School, peer tutoring is a new program which improves student relationships across grade levels. Teachers decided after meeting at the end of school last year to set up a freshman transition academy along with Ram families and peer tutoring.

Students are helped to adjust to high school life in the freshman academy.  Ram families are groups of 10 students or so and one teacher, who meet regularly for lunch or an activitiy that is fun. And, peer tutoring began a few weeks into the year. The program is offered during the school’s flex period, in the  third hour. Approximately 20 student peer tutors work with other students in an old computer lab.

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Some students volunteered, some potential tutors were identified by teachers. The  tutors are not always the brightest students, but those who want to help others.

“You can know something, but being able to teach it and communicate it is something totally different,” said English teacher Patrick O’Harra, who leads the program.. “Oftentimes those things overlap, but there are also students who are really good in the lab that maybe teachers hadn’t recommended.”

Tutors choose when and how often they work.  Some tutor once a week, others nearly every day.  They pick the subjects they want to teach prior to the start of the program. There are at least 7 tutors available on a daily basis.

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