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Oct 8, 2018 3:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Writing Studio Finds Success At Westhampton Beach High School

Lindsay Andreopoulos makes an appointment for the Writing Studio.
Oct 8, 2018 4:07 PM

A popular in-school writing center at Westhampton Beach High School is helping to improve students’ grades and grasp of the English language.

During lunch periods and late afternoons, when school has ended, students can often be found working one-on-one with English teachers—on writing assignments for English, science, or any other subject—in the school’s Writing Studio. The individualized assistance is significantly improving academic achievements among freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, according to administrators.

“It’s a great environment,” Lindsay Andreopoulos, a junior, said. “It helps me fix my essays and shows me what I do wrong so I can get better at it for next time.”

“And the teachers are really helpful,” Lindsay’s friend Layla Mendoza, also a junior, added, while working on an English paper in the cafeteria. “It’s organized.”

According to school officials, 1,200 appointments were made last year by students in ninth through 12th grades. Upperclassmen, especially those writing college essays, used the studio most frequently.

“I do think that juniors and seniors are really utilizing it as a resource,” Dariah Luciano, English coordinator and a teacher at the school, said last week. “If you know anything about the cost of essay tutors, people are paying thousands of dollars. So, this is a really great investment for the school.”

“This year’s seniors are the first year that’s had it since freshman year, and I do think it’s become part of the culture,” she continued. “It really is valuable for them.”

At the Writing Studio, teachers work to help students through every step of the writing process—understanding the task, organization, revision and editing. Since being established four years ago, the program has been an “amazing” resource for students, according to high school Principal Chris Herr.

“Students love the opportunity to sit one-on-one with a teacher to assist in their writing,” he wrote in an email this week. “They are getting assistance with writing pieces from all academic areas. It has really caught on and students take advantage of this great resource.”

At a recent Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Mike Radday noted that the program is “great” because it offers students an additional learning tool and also helps prepare them for college—where writing centers and studios are common. Mr. Radday could not immediately be reached this week for further comment on the writing studio and its cost to the district.

High school administrators plan to hold a formal, in-depth presentation on the program at next month’s November 5 board meeting.

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