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Dublin High School Volunteer Jean Josey Helps Lead Finals Support with Prep-2-Pass Nights

May 31, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–While there are many traditions in place at Dublin High School, there remain areas for innovation and new ideas. One example is Prep-2-Pass, a program launched two years ago that is flourishing and benefitting many students. This invention was “born” in the HUB as a platform to assist any student that could gain an advantage by attending a concentrated night prior to final exams – both in the fall and spring. Prep-2-Pass represents another example of how Dublin High School is committed to assisting their students – up to and including the period prior to finals. This is an evening program, which was held last week, is backed by the HUB staff, classified teachers and the administration.

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Last week, we reached out to one of the Coordinators of the HUB, Jean Josey. She explained that the HUB currently employs 16 GAEL Tutors and two Coordinators. This staff is constituted by a mixture of college students and college graduates. In an effort to gain a clearer view of the merits of the program, we reached out to Ms. Josey for her thoughts.

OneDublin.org: Over the course of the Tuesday & Thursday sessions, approximately how many students took advantage of the P2P program in the HUB?

DSC_3250Jean Josey: “This year we had over 200 students at each of the two Prep-2-Pass sessions. We always have fewer students in the spring than the fall (not many seniors come second semester). In the fall we had more than 350 for each session. We did change our format a little this spring to ensure that the students that came to Prep-2-Pass really wanted to study, not just socialize and eat pizza. We asked each student to fill out a very simple Study Plan that listed what subjects they were to work on, which allowed them to better plan their work and allowed us to better adjust how many seats we needed at each subject table.

“As students came in the door, we escorted them to their study area, instead of having them seat themselves. This cut down on groups of friends all sitting together, even if they weren’t studying the same thing. For example, in previous sessions, we might have had a large group of kids sitting at the Algebra table, even though only one or two were working on that subject, just because they found seats together there when they arrived. Then kids who needed Algebra tutoring couldn’t find a seat at that table. There was none of that this time. The students who were at the sessions this spring got more concentrated help.”

OneDublin.org: How do/can you measure the effectiveness of this program from the students? Is it really more anecdotal evidence of improvement or have you received direct feedback? Please explain.

DSC_3245Josey: “We have received some direct feedback and lots of support from classroom teachers. They have told us that their students who have gone to Prep-2-Pass have done better than others on the finals. However, that actually is sort of anecdotal, as we haven’t run data to find out exactly how much better. We do have the ability, but thus far not the time, to run that data. For each Prep-2-Pass session we’ve held for the last two years, we’ve had students scan in with their student IDs, so we know exactly who has attended. We have the ability to pull their data and find out how they did on finals compared to their peers. However, it isn’t a simple report. We would have to go in class-by-class and pull that data. In addition, because of privacy laws, we have to aggregate the data.

“We would have to group the students by subject/teacher, find a statistically significant group who all have the same teacher, and then find out to know how they did compared to all other students who took that teacher’s final for that subject. We then need to anonymize the data before presenting it to the School Board and the public. This is all doable, but takes time. Because we are part-time employees, we haven’t had the time. But given how popular the Prep-2-Pass program is, and how many students have come back to us to tell us how much better they think they did after coming to our sessions than they would have if they hadn’t come, anecdotally we know we are making a difference.”

OneDublin.org: For those that are not on campus during these sessions, please describe the vibe/mood inside of the HUB during these hours.

Josey: “We do our absolute best to keep these sessions productive and studious. The students are having a lot more fun than one would think, given that it is a study session, because most of them come in with friends. That’s actually why we added the “admission ticket” Study Plan this year. In the past we’ve had a certain segment of our student population who really just wanted to come and hang out with their friends and get free pizza. These students, while they were only a small portion of the students at the session, made for a very loud and boisterous atmosphere for the students who were really trying to study. By asking students to fill out their study plan, we were able to more effectively guide students to the appropriate subject table, and we had fewer students just there to hang out.

“Because we only have the people-power to have one tutor or teacher per subject, the tutors/teachers are really hopping, answering individual questions and working problems on the white-boards. We review concepts for multiple students at a time whenever possible. About half-way through our 4-hour session, we excuse the students by subject to go out and have their pizza dinner. We try really hard to find that balance between work and fun. We want our students to do their very best, but we also don’t want them to be stressed any more than they have to be. Our tutors are upbeat and encouraging. They all have the attitude that our students can do well, and most of the students seem to leave feeling confident.”

OneDublin.org: Please articulate the subject areas that are provided with expertise for both sessions.

Josey: “Between the end of school at 3:30 and the beginning of Prep-2-Pass approximately 4pm, we close The HUB and rearrange all the tables. We push tables together to make study areas for all of the subjects we will cover, and assign a tutor or classroom teacher to each subject. We’ve done this enough times now to know that we will have a ton of Algebra I students, so that’s our largest area. This year, for example, we had more than 30 Algebra I students each night. We know that Bio and Chem will also be popular. We often send them up to a Chemistry or Biology classroom instead of keeping them in The HUB when we have a science teacher who has volunteered to work the session. We know we will have students working on English essays, but they will work mostly independently with few questions, so we have an area for them, but the tutor is usually also assigned to cover other things.

“All of the math subjects are in heavy demand, followed closely by the sciences, so our largest areas are dedicated to those subjects. We also have some areas set up for students who just want to come in and work independently. We try our best to cover all math subjects (Alg I–> Calculus), all of the sciences, all world languages, English, and History. Our coverage depends on our people-power each evening, and because we can’t require the tutors or the teachers to work these nights, we sometimes don’t have all subjects covered all hours of both nights. However, we’ve always been able to cover every subject at least one of the two nights of Prep-2-Pass. The teachers at DHS have been extremely supportive of this event and given their time, often after teaching a full day. My hat is off to the teachers who arrive at 8am and walk out at 8pm on those days. We have had many tutors do the same thing. It is an exhausting day, but worth it if it helps students do well on their finals.”

OneDublin.org: Anything else that you would like to add?

Josey: “This program wouldn’t be possible without the PFSO. They have always supported us monetarily in the form of paying for the pizza dinner we provide the kids. It’s not cheap to feed dinner to that many people. This year the PFSO volunteers also took on the role of shopping for and serving the dinner so that our tutors could spend the maximum amount of time working with the students. This program would not be possible without their help, and we are grateful beyond words.

“In addition, we get support from our wonderful Campus Supervisors, who make sure we don’t have any discipline (or any other) problems during our 4 hours. They are a small, but critical team on campus, and I don’t think enough people know how important a role those four individuals play in keeping every facet of our campus running smoothly. I know how much our students appreciate them, but I don’t think parents and the community at large have any sense of just what Dom, Melissa, Louise and Jason mean to this school and it’s smooth operations.

“We also get a tremendous amount of support from our custodial team. They set up and take down the tables for pizza, deal with the mountains of extra trash generated by 36 Costco pizza boxes, plates, cups, napkins and water bottles, and stay late to clean The HUB after 200+ students and staff leave after 8pm. They do so much work for us in the background, and because they do their jobs so well, nobody even notices. Believe me, if they didn’t do their jobs, everyone would notice. But we have pretty much a spotless campus, and it’s because Derek, Josh and their teams are amazing.

“Finally, we always have support from Administration. Whenever there is an event on campus, admin is there. Long hours are routine for them, but that doesn’t make it easier. Lenni Velez is always around for Prep-2-Pass and handles any kind of situation that could possibly arise.”

OneDublin.org would like to commend the entire staff of the HUB and the Dublin High PFSO for their support of this truly unique program. The school continues to demonstrate its support of all students. And, judging by the empty pizza boxes – no student went home hungry. Good luck during finals, students!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shelley Fischer permalink
    May 31, 2017 11:39 am

    Ms. Josef is one giant whirlwind! Kids are lucky to have her at DHS to work and tutor them. Jean always puts kids first!!

    • Shelley Fischer permalink
      May 31, 2017 11:40 am

      Meant Ms. Josey!! Darn auto correct.

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