Want some more information on how On Your Mark works? Read on for our most frequently asked questions.
1. Q: How does On Your Mark work?
A: The program provides one-to-one and small group tutoring for students in elementary and high school, grades 1 to 12.
Volunteer tutors are recruited and matched with students considered “at risk”. Tutors and students meet after school and/or Saturday mornings for a minimum of one hour, tutoring sessions are organized around the needs of the individual student- with a focus on literacy and math.
Apart from academics, the program encourages discussion and relationship building between tutor and student. Many of our tutors are also of Portuguese-speaking/ Spanish-speaking descent and many attending post-secondary education, they are role-models to these students and have helped in increasing students’ self-esteem, which have lead to positive changes in students’ attitude towards school and more regular completion of homework, as noted by parents.
The tutoring program typically starts in late October/early November depending on the number of registration forms received. The program runs until the end of May. Parents are contacted by phone once their child is matched with a tutor, in regards to the date their child(ren) will start and their assigned tutoring day for the full school year. Please be aware that all students have various start dates due to scheduling and tutor availability.
2. Q: Who is eligible for the program?
A: In order to qualify for the program, students must:
• Be of Portuguese speaking descent OR be of Spanish speaking descent
• Be enrolled full time in school in grades 1- 12
• Complete and submit a registration form signed by a parent or guardian
• Commit to meeting with a tutor for a minimum of 1.5 hours per week
3. Q: What must parents do to be part of the program?
A: To qualify for the program, parents must:
• Attend a short Orientation where the registration forms will be submitted in person, or complete an orientation online and submit your registration forms via fax, scan/email or in person at the WWCC offices.
• Attend a minimum of one Parent workshop over the course of the school year
4. Q: How do I register my child for the program?
A: First, parent/guardian, student and teacher must complete a Student Registration Form. This form is available from your school, online here, or contact us to get a registration form from our office.
The parent/guardian must then attend an Orientation Session in order to hand in the completed registration form in person to one of the program Coordinators or staff. They may also complete an orientation session online, here and submit your registration forms via fax or email. Please call the office to make sure your registration form was received if not submitting in person.
You will be contacted BY PHONE, and then a Letter to Start, once a tutor becomes available for your child, students may start ONLY when contacted by the Program Coordinator and given a start date.
5: Q: What do I do if my child can’t make it to a session?
A: If your child will not be making it to one of the sessions, please be sure to contact one of the Program Coordinators by phone at 416-532-2824 ext. 44 or 46 as soon as possible; leave a message if there is no answer. It is important that your child’s tutor is then informed.
** Please note, the students’ school DOES NOT notify the On Your Mark Program Coordinators of the students’ absence from school. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the Program Coordinators within a timely manner.
• A FIRST uninformed absence (not informing the Program Coordinator of your child’s absence) will result in a phone call to the parent/guardian.
• A SECOND uninformed absence will result in a warning letter being mailed.
• A THIRD uninformed absence will result in the student being removed from the program.
6. Q:How can I advocate for my child at the school?
A: If you think there is a problem with your child’s education at school, you have a right to speak to the school about this.
7. Q: Who can be a tutor?
A: In order to qualify for the program, potential volunteers must:
• Be interviewed by program staff
• Complete an application form
• Complete and pass a police reference check
• Commit to meeting with a student for a minimum of 1 hour per week and commit to the full school year
• Possess a positive attitude towards learning
• If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in volunteering with OYM, please see our volunteer postings here.