Oswego High School has a new Writing Center during fourth, fifth and sixth periods that students can use if they are struggling with a writing assignment. Located just outside of the school cafeteria, it is designed for easy access for all OHS students.
Students can get help from one of three different English teachers at the Writing Center. Mrs. Kelly Martin will be helping students fourth period, Mrs. Stephanie Stegich handles fifth and Ms. Amy Oslos handles sixth.
The Center helps with all types of assignments, including college essays for seniors. All the student needs to provide is a rubric for the assignment in question.
English Department Chair Dr. Amy Howerton submitted a proposal for the Center back in 2017. That proposal included data gathered last fall, which showed that 117 students had failing grades in English in the fall 2017 semester. Of that 117, 42.3 percent failed due to not turning in embedded assessments (major projects and essays), and 13 percent failed due to poor grades on essays.
“Last year, during the and during the lunch hours, there was not a tutor,” Mrs. Stegich explained. She went on to elaborate on the lack of services available to students who may struggle with writing, and the limited nature of the previous services offered to students, primarily the need for a dedicated tutoring period instead of a guided study.
Dr. Howerton agrees with Mrs. Stegich.
“A dedicated guided study is only available to 25 or so students,” Dr. Howerton said. “We wanted something that could be utilized by all students.”
While the Writing Center is just getting off the ground this year, a few improvements are already in the works. National Honor Society students will soon aid in tutoring, broadening the scope of the service and giving visitors of the Center even more options. In order to track how many students the Center is helping, there will be a sign-in system as well.
The Center is still in its infancy at the moment, but the potential is clear. Mrs. Stegich, Dr. Howerton and their colleagues hope to see the Writing Center help many students throughout the year.