The Vanguard School’s Mentor Program matches grade 4-8 students with responsible grade 8-12 student mentors.
The Mentor Program is more than a tutoring program – it’s about building positive relationships that support academic and character growth. To this end, the program hosts a large group gathering 2-3 times a year to celebrate the hard work the mentor pairs have achieved and further strengthen the positive relationships being developed. The program kicks off each year with a Donut Meet and Greet – an opportunity for all the mentees and their parents to meet their mentor for the first time and share donuts, coffee, and milk together before the school day begins. In December, students gather for board games, cookies, and a fun group gift exchange. The Mentor Program will then typically wrap the year up with a pizza party in May.
Since the Mentor Program is about more than tutoring, we try to keep mentor pairs together as they advance through the grades. This way, they can continue to strengthen the relationship each year they are involved in the program.
How Student Mentors & Mentees Are Chosen
Mentors apply to the program and are chosen based on their excellent character, strong academics, and teacher references. They are interviewed and participate in an hour and a half orientation to prepare them for their new role.
Mentees are by recommendation only. These recommendations are typically given by their homeroom teacher or academic advisor. The pairing of mentors and mentees is based on interest, age, gender, and available times for the meeting.
How Student Mentors & Mentees Are Paired
The Vanguard School tries to pair students according to their cohorts – grade 4 with grade 8, grade 5 with freshmen, grade 6 with sophomores, grade 7 with juniors, and grade 8 with seniors. However, pairing does not always work out this way as we consider several factors when pairing a mentor with a mentee, such as interests, background, strengths, weaknesses, and weekly availability.
A Mentor’s Primary Role
The mentor’s primary role is to be a friend and role model who will help guide the mentee in developing his/her character and academic potential through their relationship. This mentor relationship can be a very practical way of exposing students to peer models of great character and academic excellence from students who have already “been there.”
Student Mentors Offer Academic Support in the Following Subjects
Mentors offer academic support in most core subjects: history, science, English/literature, math, and Latin. For this reason, academic ability is an important qualifying factor in mentor selection.
Grades Eligible To Receive Mentorship
Students in grades 4 through 8 can receive mentorship. High school students can receive peer tutoring through our National Honor Society (NHS) tutoring program.
Tutoring Times & Locations
Mentors and mentees usually meet once a week, for one hour, in various high school and junior high classrooms and other highly visible locations between the high school and junior high buildings. In these meetings, the pair will study together, work on organization skills, play games, and simply spend time together in order to build a strong relationship with one another.
Arrangements are decided between the mentee’s parents and the mentor as to which day of the week the two will meet.
Benefits of Becoming A Student Mentor
The Mentor Program helps students build leadership skills, empathy, the ability to listen, and communication skills. Mentors engage with their student mentees and parents when arranging meeting times, pick-up locations, etc. This communication helps develop confidence in speaking with adults and time management skills.
The program also helps the student mentors develop a strong academic resume for college by showing commitment, leadership, and active involvement in the Vanguard community to make a positive impact.
Become A Student Mentor
To become a mentor, a student needs to be in grades 8-12, have attended at least one semester at The Vanguard School, and be in good academic standing.
Mentors go through a thorough application process to join the program. The process requires interested students to submit an application that includes their interests, qualifications, parent permission slip, weekly availability, and teacher recommendation form. Students are interviewed by the Mentor Coordinator and attend Mentor Orientation Training before meeting with their mentee.
The application window is open twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring.
Be a Part of the Mentor Program at The Vanguard School!
Students and parents should reach out to their child’s teacher if they are interested in becoming a part of our Mentor Program. Mentors are assigned based on the recommendation of teachers and academic advisors.
Additional Academic Resources for Students
National Honor Society Tutoring for High School Students
High school students can access NHS peer tutors during Activity Period (the last class of the day), Monday through Thursday. NHS tutors are available to support students in core subjects and help develop organizational skills.
Courser Club for Junior High Students
All junior high students (not just mentees) have access to our Courser Club after school, in the Dome, until 5:00 P.M. Courser Club provides a quiet learning environment that is actively monitored by a staff member who is available to offer homework support. If students work diligently until 5:00 P.M. and have homework remaining, they are given the opportunity to earn a homework pass or extension on one of the assignments that remain.
Interested in NHS Tutoring or Courser Club?
Please discuss these opportunities with any of your child’s teachers, your building secretary, or Assistant Principal.