ARC moves virtual to help students

The creators and staff of the Academic Resource Center (ARC)  work very hard to adjust to online learning and tutoring. 

One of the directors and creators of the ARC, Dr. Jeff Schagrin, was asked what process he went through when creating the ARC.

 “In virtual learning, we wanted to make sure we provided a good structure for students to get support since they can no longer simply go to school, go into the library and ask for help,” Schagrin said. 

The Academic Resource Center is now web based using Zoom and Calendly, a software program for students to get one-on-one support. 

“We noticed a lot of students need help in the evening when they are trying to re-engage with work or work on homework and there is no help available. We had a large group of teachers volunteer, so that’s why we have math, English, science and World History all offering hours at night between 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.,” Schagrin said.

The ARC is very beneficial now that it’s online because students can receive one-on-one help without having to worry when getting help physically about a teacher helping three students and not receiving the teacher’s full attention.

“That one-on-one environment allows for the teacher to be more focused on helping one student at a time and the time being is more beneficial all around as well,” Schagrin said.

There are many teachers who are working in the Academic Resource Center helping students each day.

“Receiving help physically is way easier. Resources are right there in front of you. They could be asking for help, but students rather watch Netflix. It’s easier for students to get misguided and choose other things and to get their homework done,” said World History teacher Alex McKenzie. 

Many students are still adapting to the change of the Academic Resource Center; they can no longer just walk into the library and ask for help. They have to set up personal meetings virtually now.

“When I don’t get my work, my teachers go out of their way to email me and make sure I understand, and when I don’t I just set up a meeting on zoom with the teacher and they explain it to me. It’s that easy,” sophomore Erick Banuelos said. 

Since the Academic Resource Center went virtual, it’s just a matter of finding out how to get students more involved and helping figure out how to get it to more students, giving them that motivation they need to become more outgoing and successful.

 “I feel as if it’s a very underused resource. Most days we have like 20 appointments that don’t get filled,” Schagrin said. “There is so much availability, and that one-on-one time could really help some students with their academics.”

Many teachers haven’t gotten many appointments set up by students; some have not even received one meeting set up for their class. 

“Once students get comfortable with it, it’ll have more participants,” McKenzie said. “There are kids that should be using those resources that are provided but don’t. They are too shy or don’t feel like going online.”

 The best thing to do is support and encourage the students to get more involved. 

“Personally, I haven’t had any show up to my virtual ARC period yet,” said Grammar and Composition teacher Robyn Steinmetz. “It’s just easier for students to ask in person or meet in a library and talk face to face. I miss seeing you guys, and telling jokes, and seeing my students laugh.” 

Steinmetz is always just emails or Zooms away from helping her students get their work in.

“Of course I love helping my students, and I’m always here to help them when they need it,” Steinmetz said.

Teachers involved in the ARC are always willing to help to make sure students understand. A lot of students love the new hours they can receive help, especially late at night when they get stuck or don’t understand something.  

“I like that I can reach teachers late at night if I’m stuck,” Banuelos said. “I do my homework late sometimes and leave it to the last minute. Knowing that at night time I can get answers is cool. We didn’t have that before. We’d just be stuck confused and now we can virtually talk to them at night.”

 Teachers and students seem to be adapting very well to the new virtual Academic Resource Center and seem to like the changes and new modifications the ARC has come out with. Whether it’s physical or virtual, teachers at Grayslake North always are there for their students.

‘“What’s most important to me is to help my students be guided in the right path and be successful. I want them to know I’m here no matter the circumstances,” McKenzie said.