Study tables discontinued for athletes

Starting on October 30, students involved in the winter season will no longer have to participate in study tables. Because of the problems with transportation, the athletic program has instituted a new way of helping student athletes keep their grades up by having a small form signed by a teacher or tutor twice a week to show that they have been seeking help for their grades.

“I think this is a positive change for the students because it takes them out of study tables and gets them more direct help, which is what they need in the first place,” said history teacher and varsity boys basketball coach Todd Grunloh.

Many student athletes have trouble getting rides to school, because the study table sessions began at 7a.m. With the old system, students who could not drive or students in zero hour had no way to get to the study sessions on time.

“This gives more options to more students who don’t have transportation or have a zero hour class. Instead of coming in school at 7a.m. with a teacher that doesn’t specialize in the class they’re struggling with, they can go get help with a teacher or student who can help with the class they are actually struggling with,” said athletic director Tina Woolard.

With the new system, students plan meetings with their teachers during their free time rather than coming early in the morning.

“They could do it during free periods, lunch hours, before school and after school rather than having to meet Tuesday and Thursday in the morning. This allows the students to find times in their own schedule to receive the help that they need,” said Todd Grunloh.

Students Who Achieve Together (SWAT) is a program that has students that have previously strived in a subject tutor others who are struggling. If a student has a D or a F in a class, their teacher or counselor calls their parents and asks for permission to put the student in tutoring and a schedule is made accordingly.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is a place where students can go and get help from teachers. During all eight periods of the day there is at least an English and math teacher there.

“Students can go to SWAT or the ARC twice a week and get a form signed, or they can meet one on one with a teacher,” Woolard said.

These policies are put in place in addition to the rules that IHSA has of passing 5 classes to participate in a sport. Students not only have to be passing their classes, but have to maintain at least an average grade in all their academics.

“I think this is an important piece to our athletic programs, academics come first. Many students are doing very well and they are rewarded for that. Students need to be held accountable.” Woolard said .

Not only does the new policy encourage students to work to stay in their sports, but also teachers hope that the students will come in to teachers or another student to help improve their grades.

“I like the study tables being replaced with the forms because it holds the student athletes accountable for getting the help they need. Before with the old system most students would go to the study tables and just use it as another place to socialize with friends. With this new system, I have more students asking to come in for help which is wonderful,” said math teacher and sophomore volleyball coach Jill Grunloh.