Tutoring at Berkeley High School

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How many BHS students use private tutors?

Feb 2014

Any guesses on how many Berkeley High students use private tutors (for classes, study skills, PSAT/SATs, and/or AP exams), private SAT prep courses, and/or private college admissions and essay counselors? I have been surprised by how many of my teen's friends are using at least one. Would love to hear from a teacher of an AP class. Just curious. BUSD parent

As a parent of a former and current BHS kid, both of whom have used tutors, I would say that a lot of BHS kids who need and can afford tutoring do seek it out. Both of my kids have multiple friends who have used tutors for a range of classes including both regular and AP English, language, math and science classes. I have mixed feelings about hiring private tutors. On the one hand, parents don't want to see their kids fail if tutoring can make a difference. I wish a parent had asked me if I needed tutoring in high school! On the other hand, it is expensive and some tutors are extremely effective while others aren't. Then there is the achievement gap. It simply isn't fair that some kids who have more resources are able to take advantage of private tutoring. This is something we talk about as a family. anon

I teach at BHS and not surprisingly, it really depends on income. In AC and BIHS it seems like every kid does SAT/ACT prep (either private tutor or class), has a private college counselor, and possibly a writing coach. Many have subject-matter tutors as well. People pay big bucks for these services because they help a lot. The college process is really confusing and absurdly competitive. You can reduce your need for these outside professionals if your kid is applying to less competitive schools, but if you want the top-tier UCs or elite privates, your kid is at a disadvantage if you do not get them the help, advice, and insight that all the other kids and families are getting. --Sad-and-not-so-secret truth

Both of my daughters were/are in AC at Berkeley High and neither one had a private SAT/ACT tutor or college advisor. My older one is now at UC Davis and my senior is headed to CalPoly in the fall. Is is NOT a requirement to hire expensive outside help to go through the coollege application process. BHS College and Career Center is a huge resource. All kids are different, and some may need this, but I was shocked to read from a BHS teacher that ''it seems like every kid does SAT/ACT prep (either private tutor or class), has a private college counselor, and possibly a writing coach.'' I know many kids at BHS who did without these extras and went on to top tier colleges in California and beyond. Glad to be done with college apps