SMART’s after-school support began as a tutoring program when our organization opened its doors in 1997, and in 2001 expanded to include formalized after-school programming for middle school students, requiring students to attend after-school programming twice weekly, with transportation provided from our partner schools directly to the SMART offices. During the 2011-2012 school year, SMART’s Middle School Achievement Program (MAP) was renamed to complement and distinguish it from the newly developed College Access Program (CAP), and the rigorous structure was formalized focusing on academic support as well as emphasizing a college-going culture in both programs through similar themes, workshops, and parent education series. SMART maintains regular contact with a liaison at each of our partner schools that provides regular updates on each of the students we serve. This individualized information, in addition to student grades and staff observations during programming help us to provide needed support to each of our students, and appropriate guidance to the tutors with whom they work on a one-on-one basis.
The key components of MAP are:
Students are required to attend programming twice weekly, and transportation from their schools to SMART are provided. Students arrive around 4:00pm, and formalized programming begins at 4:30pm with Scholar Learning Time, an instructional period with a unique curriculum focusing on academic extension & support, social justice, 21st century knowledge and skills, character-building, leadership & life skills, social and emotional support, conflict resolution and stress management, as well as partner school transition and success. At 5:45pm Study Hall begins, a structured period focusing on individualized academic support, communication with schools and advisors, trained tutors matched one-on-one with a student, re-teaching and extra practice of classroom materials, management of larger writing and research projects, as well as study and preparation skills.
Volunteer Mentoring & Tutoring
Scholars are matched one-on-one with tutors and mentors. Tutors commit to 1-2x a week and attend training 2x a year. In addition to daily homework support, they focus on test preparations, major projects and essays, and help identify areas of growth. Mentors commit to 2-3x a month and focus on activities that help introduce our Scholars to new experiences, sharing of life-journeys, and exploring San Francisco. For more information on becoming a volunteer, please visit the Volunteer page.
Parent Education Series
Parents, as vital partners to SMART's goal in supporting their students are offered workshops throughout the year. Themes mirror workshops offered to CAP parents but catered towards the unique needs of middle school students. This year, we are exploring the following themes: College Prep Starts Now, Navigating School Systems, Academic Planning, Standarized Testing and Financial Aid.
Community Building and Social Support
SMART prides itself in our community of supportive peers, adult mentors, volunteers, parents, donors, and alumni. In order to continue cultivating a strong sense of tie to SMART, we organize various social events (family pot lucks, holiday parties, happy hours) throughout the year, in addition to incorporating this theme into the after-school program curriculum through research into global issues and creative expression, as well as participation in affinity groups.
Accelerated summer learning programs are an effective strategy for impacting student achievement, and are particularly important in low-income communities. For this reason, SMART partners with local organizations to ensure three years of summer programming for all rising 7th, 8th and 9th grade students. SMART provides our own Summer Program for rising 5th & 6th grade students.