students and teacher working with microscopes in a science lab
Rebecca Barus

Kathryn Rivera, Middle School faculty, has a knack for helping students uncover their greatest strengths while working through learning tactics that will allow them to develop both in the classroom and outside of school. So much so that this year, she created an after school study strategies course with those exact skills as the basis of the program.  The course runs three times a year, eight weeks at a time, for an hour after school. In just eight weeks, students cover everything from brain function to growth versus fixed mindsets to note and test taking strategies for success. 

Kathryn Rivera, Middle School faculty, has a knack for helping students uncover their greatest strengths while working through learning tactics that will allow them to develop both in the classroom and outside of school. So much so that this year, she created an after school study strategies course with those exact skills as the basis of the program.  The course runs three times a year, eight weeks at a time, for an hour after school. In just eight weeks, students cover everything from brain function to growth versus fixed mindsets to note and test taking strategies for success. 

Mrs. Rivera explains that because seventh and eighth grade is such a crucial time for students developmentally, that this level of support is incredibly beneficial. 

“There is so much growth and transformation that happens in Middle School,” she said. “And the skills and tools that they are gaining through study strategies apply to so much more than just school. The goal is to set them up for success and supply them with what they need to make the transitions easier for them.”

Throughout the eight weeks, students are tasked with identifying patterns throughout their courses and determining an action plan for success: 

“We don’t focus on what’s going wrong, we focus on what students are doing well, what is working, and accessing whether it is subject based or skills based,” Mrs. Rivera said. “Once we determine those things, we work to establish little changes in our individual daily lives that can help students achieve their goals.”

What Mrs. Rivera believes is most important in after school study strategies is the real world application that is mirrored in her lesson plans: 

“For example, in week three we talk about time management and how to manage both short and long term absences,” she said. “Unexpected things happen sometimes and managing missing a big chunk of school or work can be really stressful to manage — giving them tools and tactics on how to plan and manage that is applicable in middle school and beyond.” 

Whether or not students choose to enroll and attend for the full eight weeks or drop in periodically when their schedule allows, the information and lesson plans are available to students at all times and they can refer to it as often as they may need. 

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