Let us preach to the choir. You know the importance of performing well academically in high school, especially with the increasingly competitive college admittance environment. As a Starfish Mentor you have a springboard to support your Scholar academically, so here are a few tips to remember.
Guidance counselors are overloaded with students to support, and most will quickly and thankfully take advantage of having another supportive adult in their corner. We recommend reaching out to your Scholar’s counselor and introducing yourself as the Starfish Mentor. Tell them about your role and that you are looking for ways to support your Scholar academically. Schools usually list each guidance counselor’s contact information online, and of course your Match Specialist can help you make that connection.
Every Starfish parent signs an “Authorization for Release of Student Information” when their Scholar is matched. This form gives Starfish staff and Mentors permission to access Scholars’ academic information and to work with School officials. Some guidance counselors will ask for parent’s written permission, and your Match Specialist can give you a copy of this form, or you can print and fill out your own here. Remember to keep the parents in the loop should you and the counselor discuss any significant matters.
Nearly all schools give parents access to their rather elaborate online grading systems. Many systems track day-to-day progress of assignments and behavior, so you may find having access to this system very helpful! After you have formed a healthy relationship with your Scholar and parents, it is appropriate to ask the parents for permission to access this online system. Finally, it’s healthy to remember that your role as a Starfish Mentor does not include being a tutor (even if we could remember those algebra functions!). You can support your Scholar by helping them find such resources.
If your Scholar's having trouble in math specifically, Khan Academy is a great tool for self-tutoring, and you can always contact your Match Specialist for more ideas on how to help.