Paly oozes privilege. From our top-tier athletic equipment to a new library, various facilities are significant contributors to Paly’s reputation as one of the best high schools in the nation.
Paly offers more resources than just the aforementioned. The school has a myriad of facilities that often go unused by many students, having not been provided with the requisite knowledge to take advantage of them. Three particularly under-promoted facilities are the Wellness Center, the weight room and the Peer Tutoring Center.
The Wellness Center was initially established to be a resource for students facing difficulties.
However, to many students, it’s unclear which issues they ought to go to the counselors or the Wellness Center for. For example, junior Evan Huang had believed that all counselors do is fix schedules.
The mental health struggles of Paly students are well documented, with an allegedly toxic academic and social environment dominating the campus.
The school should better inform students about the functions of the guidance counselors and the Wellness Center, perhaps through an advisory lesson or a dedicated timeslot during class, in order to better the health of its students, several of which who currently don’t have a good understanding of the counseling system.
The second facility provided by the school that ought to be better advertised is the weight room, one of the most useful resources provided at Paly. Students can go during their preps, at tutorial and before and after school in order to work out and get in better shape.
However, some students feel intimidated in the weight room, as they are not sure how to utilize the machines nor what they are actually able do in the room. Throughout P.E. in my freshman and sophomore year, we did not use the weight room, and as such, my class and I were effectively lost inside.
To remedy situations like mine, mandatory basic weight room training should be introduced in freshman P.E., thereby ensuring that students know how to use all of the equipment safely. This will allow students to feel confident working out by themselves in the weight room.
The third and perhaps most important resource that goes underused due to lack of information is the Peer Tutoring Center, where students tutor their peers for free in exchange for community service hours.
However, the center is unknown to many students, who may be able to benefit from the academic help. For example, Huang, who struggled through Analysis Honors last year, says that he could have used assistance after doing poorly on his first quiz.
In this case, the Peer Tutoring Center would have aided Huang, as he could have received help from someone who knew more about what the class consisted of.
Personally, I had some difficulties in Chemistry Honors last year, and the assistance of free tutors who were familiar with the content of the course would have been very helpful to me.
In order to better inform students about the Peer Tutoring Center, there should be some time devoted during Safe and Welcoming Schools Day or in a designated class period during the beginning of the school year.
Another potential solution to better advertise the Peer Tutoring Center would be a quick 10 to 15 minute class trip.
For example, when I was at Greene Middle School, we visited the library for 15 minutes so that we could understand how to utilize it. Something like this would be helpful for not only the Peer Tutoring Center, but also the Guidance department, perhaps during freshman advisory.
It is clear that the counseling system, the weight room and the Peer Tutoring Center are great assets of tremendous importance to the school. However, students being unaware of how to properly use them has led to their underutilization, and students have not gotten the help they need.
Paly should provide all students with a rundown of its facilities at the beginning of the year, with explanations on how to properly utilize them.
After all, if no one is using the resources, what is the point?