For three consecutive years, Pioneer High School and Carson Online have offered the Staff Mentoring Students program as part of our student support network. PHS teachers, staff, and our principal, Mr. Zona, participated as mentors to a number of students each semester providing extra support. This unique program helps staff monitor attendance and grades as well as the time to get to know students on an individual basis.
More importantly, it focuses on building positive relationships between staff and students. It helps staff learn more about the clients they serve and it builds a caring and safe learning environment at Pioneer.
We know the program works, but students proved it worked in a survey they completed last year. We were encouraged to see the Staff Mentoring Students program helped students as evidenced in the Nevada School Climate/Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) survey completed by PHS students last year. Pioneer students reported high indicators in areas such as relationships, cultural and linguistic competencies, physical safety, and emotional safety. Students reported “they felt safe, secure, and that someone cared about them.”
Specifically, on one measurement in the SEL survey, Pioneer students reported a measurement index of 360 in comparison to the district number of 330 and state benchmark of 329. This bank of survey questions showed students perceived that PHS staff “demonstrated empathy, understanding, and respect for different cultures and ethnic groups.”
On the relationship focused survey questions, Pioneer students also reported higher than the district and state numbers regarding the “link between the nurturing environment and their success as a student.”
On the physical safety portion of the SEL survey, students at Pioneer ranked their perception value as 372, 316 at a district level, and 327 at the state benchmark.
After school tutoring in math and English is also available to support all students who are currently enrolled at PHS and Carson Online. The program is designed to demonstrate all students can master academic standards if they put in extra effort and are given the extra time. The relationship between staff tutors and students provides the kind of guidance, support, and inspiration necessary for students’ future success. One caring person can make a difference in a young person’s life.
The after school tutoring program provides free sessions for students who need more one-on-one help with their homework and assignments in math and other disciplines. The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities to extend our students’ learning beyond the regular classroom day. The tutoring program gives students at PHS an opportunity to do homework, use computers, get help and/or study in a pleasant, well supervised environment.
After school tutoring is available at PHS from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Rey Sarmiento is a math teacher and mentor advisor at Pioneer High school.