Tutor/Mentor Connection

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How does e-Track, or year-round schooling, affect a tutor/mentor program's delivery of services

Below is a message thread between Dan Bassill at Tutor/Mentor Connection, and Kathryn McCabe, the Executive Director, of the Cluster Tutoring program which operates in the Austin area on the West side of Chicago. If you have some thoughts on how Chicago's eTrack will change your service delivery, please share them.

I've listed the first question from Kathryn first, so the most recent comment is at the bottom of this page:

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 14:12:40 -0500
To: tutormentor2@earthlink.net
Subject: Track E

Was wondering if there might be a discuss (could be very brief) about how tutor/mentor programs handle or will handle the Track E schedule this year. Several schools quite close to Cluster are going this route, but I think it will affect very few students. We are going to try moving up our start by a week or so next year, but I am interested in hearing what other programs are doing. Thanks--
Kathryn McCabeCluster Tutoring


Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 16:46:39 -0400
Subject: RE: Track E

Hi Kathryn,

Is Track E the year round schooling schedule?

Would you want to schedule a time on the conference schedule in May to encourage programs who want to talk about this to gather? Could you host that for whomever attended? If so I can promote this as a topic in our email newsletters and maybe it would draw together other programs who have this concern.

Is there a list of schools with this potential impact? I can create a map showing the schools, and the programs who might be impacted.



Track E is the year-round schedule. I have also found out that many of the charter schools, (Noble Street, etc) start early too.

I don't think this warrants a full panel or whatever you call the main sessions. I am not sure that anyone is really interested in this because I have asked a couple of people, and they said they couldn't start early because of funding constraints. At Cluster, we are going to try to move up our entire schedule by a week. We are also going to try to get some of our returning students who attend these early start schools one or two extra weeks of tutoring on top of that.

I have a list of the schools that will implement Track E this year, but I don't have a list of the ones that have already been doing it. I am trying to get one from CPS, but that has been difficult.

So if people want to have brief discussion of this, I would be happy to lead/participate. However, I don't think it warrants a full 45 minutes or hour of discussion, and I don't know that anyone really cares about the early start.

From: tutormentor2@earthlink.net
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 23:00:34 -0400

How about if I post this on our http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com/ site and see if anyone responds?

What do you see as the main concerns of the year round schedule? In some ways it might help support year-round connections with mentors or tutors since the kids who are on a school schedule might be more likely to keep attending tutoring during the summer.

Of course, the cost of operating the program would be the big issue.

From Cluster Tutoring Program
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009

I haven't looked at the Track E schedule in great detail, but any tutoring during the summer isn't going to work for my program. 

Attendance really drops at Cluster around mid-April. Tutors have coaching commitments or they have other warm weather activities. The kids also have activities and just find it hard to study when things start to get nice. Plus most of the kids don't have any substantive homework after their ISATS, though the high school students tend to continue to have a lot of work. I can guarantee we won't have many takers to be tutoring in late May or June. Also one of our facilities doesn't have air conditioning and can be brutally hot in the summer. I don't see us extending our program past mid-May for those reasons. 

However, I do think it is possible to get an earlier start, and that's what we will work towards. 

It's fine to post this--maybe some people will reply. 


That's where we are. Do any of you have something to add to this?

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This is what the CPS Track E schedule looks like: http://www.cps.edu/Calendar/Key_events/Documents/Cal_2009-2010_Trac...

The biggest changes are that school starts four weeks earlier and there's a two week break in the fall. In temrs of getting new students and volunteers, this would mean that recruitment has to start earlier. For mentors and mentees that are already matched, I do not see Track E as a major inconvenience. At Cabrini Connections, our tutoring calendar mimics the traditional CPS school year, but any pair can arrange to meet at any time, in our center or off-site, separate from regular Wednesday or Thursday night tutoring. I assume we will stick with our current schedule for awhile given the majority of schools still operate on a traditional schedule. More than 100 CPS school have applied to switch to Track E scheduling, though, so as more and more of them get approved (they find out in February), we may have to consider starting earlier.


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