Academic Support

Academic support services at Minnetonka High School are designed to help you navigate the high school years with success. Our academic support schedule gives you additional opportunities to get help with coursework, make-up tests, or study in small groups with peers.

Academic Support Schedule

Download and print the Academic Support schedule, which includes the days and times for zero hour, MAST, peer tutoring, make-up testing, the Writing Center, Math Center, etc.

Zero Hour: Where to meet staff

Meet staff members during zero hour at these locations around the high school.

MAST: Where to meet staff

Meet staff members on MAST days at these locations around the high school.


The Writing Center

The Writing Center opened in 2007 to support and build enthusiasm for all types of writing. Staff and trained student coaches work with students on writing assignments from any class, as well as college essays and scholarship applications. To schedule a conference, make an appointment in advance at the WC front desk; otherwise, walk-in appointments are often available during zero hour, lunch, and after school (download the Academic Support Schedule for further details).

The Writing Center is a great environment to study individually or collaborate with a small group—all are welcome! Hang out, schedule a conference, use the computers and ask questions as you write. If you're trying to clarify a thesis, integrate or analyze quotations, make inferences, organize or revise, writing coaches are here for you.

The Writing Center is endowed by the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation.

Frequently asked questions about writing conferences

Who will meet with me?

The Writing Center (WC) staff and student coaches are well‐trained to listen, guide, and ask questions that will help you improve your paper. You will either be paired with a coach who is at least one grade level above you, or you can request to meet with a staff member. All seniors meet with WC staff.

When can I drop in?

During zero hour, lunch, or after school. You may not miss a class to come to the Writing Center unless you have a pass from your teacher.

What happens during a writing conference?

You come to the conference with a clear idea of what you want to work on, and your assigned coach or staff member will ask questions and give suggestions. If you are just getting started, the meeting will be spent brainstorming ideas or discussing organization. If you have a draft, you'll go over your assignment and rubric together, then talk about ways you can improve your paper. If you are ready to turn in a paper, your coach will help you proofread it. Throughout each session, take notes so you can make further revisions on your own later.

How far in advance should I schedule a meeting with a WC coach?

A few days before your paper is due, if possible. Some students schedule future appointments the day a paper is assigned; this helps ensure that you will write a rough draft and have time to make changes before the due date. While coaches can work with you the day your paper is due, you probably won’t have much time to make revisions so plan ahead!

What if I can’t think of a way to start writing? Do I need to bring a draft to an appointment?

Bring the assignment or prompt, as well as any related books or materials, and your coach will help you develop your ideas or talk through the prompt.

Will my coach proofread or edit my paper?

Your coach won’t proofread for you, but will help you do it yourself by demonstrating a way to fix it. If you have specific questions about citations, usage, punctuation, etc. your coach will answer them and model how to address the issue throughout your paper. Your coach may also provide you with helpful handouts or online resources.

Staff

The Writing Center staff and associated students view themselves as writing coaches. They provide individualized guidance and strategies for writers as they work on academic papers, college essays, or personal writing.

Maggie Shea, Writing Center Coordinator

Maggie taught English at Minnetonka High School and has worked as a freelance writer. Her work has been published in regional and national magazines, as well as the Star Tribune. She earned her undergraduate degree at UW-Madison and her Masters in English Education from the University of Minnesota. She is currently working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Hamline University.

Student writing coaches

Teacher-nominated student writing coaches work in the Writing Center before and after school, conferencing with students and managing the front desk. They also visit classrooms to assist with writing projects, mentor middle school students, help with enrichment events, and play leading roles in our annual spring celebration of writing, "Off the Page." Visit the Writing Center to view profiles of our current student coaches!

Writing tips and resources

The Purdue Online Writing Lab

Everything you ever wanted to know about writing concentrated in one spot! Check this out for help with everything from getting started to polishing your final paper. It also has detailed, discipline-specific writing tips.

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

The University of North Carolina Writing Center

Many links that will help you write essays for just about any subject.

The University of Richmond’s Writers’ Web

Links and tips to help you with every stage of your paper.

http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

Macalester College’s Write Well initiative

A collection of 60 second videos delivered by members of the Macalester faculty. Filmed “on location,” these funny and effective micro-lectures address such issues as “What is a Thesis?” and “Killing the verb To Be.”

http://www.macalester.edu/academics/writewell/

Finding Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

Diana Hacker’s MLA Reference for documenting/citations.

http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/p04_c08_s1.html

The Purdue OWL’s MLA Reference for citing your sources:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly: Evaluating Web Sources

http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html

Miscellaneous

Vocab Fun at Free Rice: Click on the correct definition, get it right, and feed the hungry.

http://www.freerice.com

One Look: The Mother of All Dictionaries!

Links to definitions from several reliable dictionaries. Can’t find the right word? Click on “Reverse Dictionary” at the top of the page and it’ll help you find the word you’re looking for.

http://www.onelook.com

For Parents

Use these writing tips from the National Council of Teachers of English to encourage your students to write more and write better.

Writing centers around the world

  • Fighting Words | Dublin, Ireland
  • Writer Roddy Doyle started this urban center for creative writing.
  • 826 Writing Centers | Seven locations in the U.S. (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Michigan (Detroit/Ann Arbor), New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.
  • Author and screenwriter, Dave Eggers, is the brilliant mind behind these public writing centers. All feature free tutoring, innovative workshops and events, and student-created books. All the volunteers are professional authors.

Off the Page

Off the Page is an annual event hosted by the Writing Center that features good food, conversation, live music and interviews with distinguished writing professionals about their trade. Look for details this spring!



2016-17 Student Writing Coaches

The Math Center

The Math Center is located in The Port, room 1600C. It is open for individual tutoring before and after school two days a week and during MAST time. Download the Academic Support Schedule for more information.

Students in 10th through 12th grade are eligible to be Math Center Tutors for credit. See the Skipper Log Course Catalog or visit the Math Center to learn more about the application process.


Contact

MHS Counseling Appointments
952-401-5811

Laura Herbst
Advanced Learning Coordinator (AP/IB)
laura.herbst@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5897

Phil Trout
College Counselor
collegeguy@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5746

Social Worker
952-401-4043

504 Coordinator
952-401-4033

Registrar
952-401-5815

Testing
952-401-5810

Transcripts & Scholarships
952-401-5813


Submit questions and feedback online and receive a response within one business day through Let's Talk.

Let's Talk