Older students help prepare younger scholars for FSA tests


Matthew Diaz, left, Mitchell Albright, Allie Murray, teacher Carol Albright, Noel Fleig and Sanjana Sanjay take part in Viera High School student tutoring of Suntree Elementary School students in preparation for the Florida Standards Assessments.

Linda Wiggins

The FCAT sweats may be in the rear view, but say hello to the Florida Standards Assessments that can be nerve-wracking for students, teachers and parents alike.

Some Viera High School math honors students gave back last month as tutors for fifth-grade students at Suntree Elementary School that was for most of them their alma mater.

Parents pitched in by bringing students back to school for an hour in the weeks leading up to the FSAs.

“The tutoring sharpens their skills and builds confidence for the FSAs,” said Carol Albright, who organized fellow fifth-grade teachers Christy Fleig, Pam Bruce, Caroline Walker and Monica Slate to offer the assistance to parents and get students excited about taking part.

Albright reached out to VHS calculus teacher Kate Howick and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society sponsor Pat Seiler to recruit their students, who received community service hours.

The classroom was set up in stations where students could choose an area of focus based on their needs.

“I have gone to geometry, I’ve worked on multiplying and dividing fractions, and it’s really helped,” Ryan Biljan said. The age factor is a plus, said another student.

“They’ve just done what you are going through, and they have neat tricks to teach us that are fast,” Kaylee Krininger said. “Plus, it’s kind of cool that they are high school students.”

That’s just fine with 10th-grader Mitchell Lewis, one of more than 20 high school students teaching up to 35 junior scholars each day.

“I’m the youngest in my family, so it feels really good to have someone younger looking up to me.”