Basic Student Success Habit: Tutorial before you need help

Tutorial is available on
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
from 3:00 to 3:30 PM

Help your student to establish a habit now of attending tutorial at least twice a week—four would be better. It doesn’t matter which class (unless your teen needs help with something).

Your student just needs to build the habit of extending their learning during tutorial.

Don’t wait; Start now

Here’s why it is so important to start now:

  • To retain the day’s learning, students need a habit of closure. At the end of the day and before transitioning home or to sports, attending tutorial helps students set this habit.  A good habit includes the following:
    • reviewing the notes,
    • making sure they wrote down any assignment details (page, problem, due date, etc)
    • make sure they have a clear understanding of what is being asked so that they do not spend unnecessary time
      • feeling frustrated,
      • forgetting what was required or
      • checking to be sure they understand what is being asked.
    • This habit allow students to invest study-time wisely.
  • Learning now the format of tutorial for each teacher—before your student urgently needs help—will allow her focus on her questions rather than understanding how to get the teacher’s attention.
  • When your student schedules time for tutorial, that time remains open for tutorial. He will expect the school day to last through 3:30 PM and he will schedule accordingly.
  • Even if your student doesn’t have immediate questions, tutorial offers a great place to get started with homework. Students often don’t realize they have questions until they start the independent work. Being at tutorial will ensure that they can complete the assignment. That will help them establish a good homework habit.
  • Listening to other student’s questions helps your student develop their questioning skills.
  • Listening to the teacher’s response reinforces the learning from class.

What you can do to help:
Here’s four things families can do now—and throughout high school—to support tutorial:

    • Have intentional conversations with your student about going to tutorial. Let them know that you consider it a part of the school day.
    • Ask them which tutorial they attended and what they were able to accomplish.
    • Encourage your students to keep working until they build a regular tutorial schedule. They will reinforce their learning each day and get additional time to work with our staff.
    • Find out if they have problems getting questions answered. Use this opportunity to teach self-advocacy and problem-solving. Please do not do it for them. Walk them through it, demonstrate when necessary, but they need to take the actions themselves to build confidence and cement their learning.

Challenge your teen to be bold and to ask questions that deepen their learning, not just the points they need for an upcoming quiz.

Myths about Tutorial—

Students will give many reasons for resisting tutorial. Some of the following common ones are based on misconceptions:

Myth: Too many other students


  • As curriculum gets challenging, more students have questions. That can mean that a lot of students line up. It can look to a newcomer like they will never get through the line. Every teacher has an individual way to manage large groups. Getting started from the first weeks of school allows your student to observe and learn these conventions. If they still struggle, you have an opportunity to teach them to advocate—go to the teacher and ask for advice with navigating tutorial.

Myth: There isn’t time.


  • As I said above, getting started early with the notion that the school day ends at 3:30 PM helps students plan for tutorial time. There is no urgency to catch the bus. The student bus pass works all afternoon (and evening as well). Practices and clubs will not start until 4 PM. That leaves time for tutorial, a snack, clothing change, etc. Students can get started with any assignments while they wait their turn, which will save them time later.


Myth: Other kids will think I’m not smart.

Reality: Two things:

  • First, our students have taken an active role in shifting perceptions of our school culture. We—our staff and students—believe that it is not what you bring to Newport that matters. What counts is what you do while you are here. All students have tremendous capacity for growth. We want them to graduate with a desire to keep learning and growing and to measure themselves with that growth yardstick.
  • And second: Actually, our most capable students get that way in part by taking advantage of tutorial; Tutorial ensures that students understand the homework and can complete it on time; It allows them to hear the material in different ways, which reinforces their learning
    and memory; Hearing other student’s questions can reveal a blind spot in their own thinking.

Myth: The teacher doesn’t like me.


  • You can help your teen understand that Newport’s staff makes an intentional effort to prepare students for the kinds of relationships they can expect in college and on the job. While we seek out, hire, and develop teachers who value every student, we also take responsibility for more than your child’s academic progress.
  • We know that in college, professors rarely take time with students until upper-level courses (two to three years in). No one will check homework or attendance.
  • We take pains to teach your student how to develop and what to expect from a professional relationship with each teacher.
  • In time, many teacher-student relationships deepen—just as any other one does—through common interests, compatible personalities, etc.
  • Partner with us and help your student to begin now to learn how to create a working relationship. You will find help on the skills to form and maintain good relationships in many of our posts on thinking and social-emotional skills.

Tutorial is one of three essentials to academic success in high school—along with homework completion and attendance. Help your student make a strong start by committing to regular attendance at tutorial starting now.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.