04242018 Headline:

Phoenix Scholars Society motivates students to get help with their homework

New name of Homework Club provides a less intimidating approach to helping students

By Mackenzie Firestone

The Homework Club has now rebranded as The Phoenix Scholars Society (PSS) to emphasize how students can get help and study in a positive environment. It will take place during the same time and place as Homework Club, in rooms 3160 and 3210 before school and during lunch.

The PSS’ advisor Debbie Tranholdt, RAHS Registrar and Student Support, firmly believes that this change will allow students to get more help by providing a safe place for them to work.

“I just want students to do well academically and I want to give students a space to do that,” said Tranholdt. “I want to provide students with study skills and give them a positive environment to do their work. It’s a place for students to catch up on their work and I just want the best.”

Tranholdt has high hopes that this change will motivate students to seek help studying and for homework as the club is a resource and not demeaning of any sorts.

“I think that Homework Club was being associated with being a punishment or something negative but it was never meant to be like that,” said Tranholdt. “It was meant to be a place for students to come to either study as a group for tests or just a place to quietly do work.”

Nathan Gwinn, RAHS Biology and Health teacher, is taking the Club to the next level by offering test credits to those who attend.

“I wanted to give the students more chances to practice study so I’m offering more credit to assessments,” said Gwinn. “I wanted to give my students ultimate opportunities for success.”

Gwinn feels that the students who go to PSS will be more apt to get their work done and will understand the content of his class more. The test credits are only incentive.

“I’m seeing the students’ comprehension go up,” said Gwinn. “They’re spending more time on it, and when they choose to spend more time on it, they deserve credit.”

In the long term, Gwinn hopes that students will partake more often in the Club to deepen their understanding of Biology and to get more practice in studying the subject.

“I would assume that the students who go more often, and they do — I’m actually kind of surprised, are actually going to learn the curriculum more and be more comprehensive in my classes,” said Gwinn.

PSS has allotted many RAHS students to get ahead in their work and study even if they are not behind, to have a safe place to complete old assignments if they are a little behind, and to get help in classes that they are still unsure of.

Sophomore Mia Baukol has allowed PSS to help her a lot with her Biology studies. Especially since PSS provides two work rooms; one for quiet studies and one for group studies.

“It’s been helpful because before [I heard about PSS], I wanted to get my homework done during lunch,” said Baukol. “[However], the tables were crowded and noisy so when I heard about [PSS], I was happy because I now have a quiet place to work with a desk and I can get a lot more done.”

Another student, freshman Etnna Elizalde-Castaneda has also benefited from PSS.

“I have been coming since the middle of November,” said Elizalde-Castaneda. “Typically, when I come, it’s to get caught up mainly in Geometry. It’s been pretty good. I started coming to catch up but I found I liked it and now I come regularly.”

PSS is both beneficial and recommended if a student isn’t doing too well in a class or wants more practice, so Gwinn and Tranholdt encourage all students to get help.

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