How to Opt Out of STAR Testing

June 3rd, 2019

Yes you can opt your child out of STAR Testing

STAR Testing is a set of standardized test that California uses to assess to mathematical, language arts, and scientific proficiency of students grades 2-11. However, California is one of a few states that by law allow all parents to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing of any kind. There are also California regulations governing what educators can say to families concerning these standardized tests.

So, the Question is HOW?

It is generally pretty straight forward. You will want to check with your school specifically, as each district is different, but generally all that is required is a letter to the school’s principal or superintendent letting them know that your student will not be participating in the standardized testing taking place; in this case STAR Testing – and the letter can opt out of any parts of a test or standardized tests entirely. A letter may be required annually to remind the school that your student will not participate. Because of California law, this should be all that is involved, but check with your principal to confirm.

Why to Opt Out

You can opt out for any reason by law, but there may be some reasons to stay. The STAR Test is a general assessment of basic skills most students at a given level are likely to have in Math, English, and Science. It is good to know if your student meets these basic expectations, and in what areas they may be lacking. Because the tests are standardized, they are likely to actually have easier material than what your student is currently learning. So, if they find parts of the test difficult, it would be a red flag and good to know.

What if Testing has already started?

It’s possible to opt out at any stage of testing: before, during, or after. If you decide to opt out during testing, the scores your student has already achieved will be processed and still reported to you, while no further testing will be conducted, and your student will not have to participate in the testing times.

What will my student do instead?

It’s likely your school is experienced with parents wanting to opt out of all or a specific standardized test. What will usually be the case is the school will have some kind of educational activity set aside that those students who are opted out will be able to participate in while their peers are testing. This will vary depending on school and grade level.

Does opting out cost money?

No, and don’t pay if any is requested. According to California Education Code section 60615, it is law in California that parents can decide they don’t want their children to participate in state testing for any reason and outlines a parents’ rights to submit such a request to their school. Section 852 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations further states that these requests can be filed annually. However, your state itself may be subjected to federal fines if they don’t meet the criteria that 95% of currently enrolled students in their state must participate.

Call us with any questions

These are the basics of how to opt out of STAR Testing and some reasons for or against, as well as a summary of any complications that may arise. However, at Study Hut Tutoring we have experience helping families decide what the best decision is for them, and we’d love to her about your unique situation. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll do our best to find the solution that’s right for you.

Study Hut Tutors: Where are they now?

March 21st, 2019

Hey Hut Fam,

It has been awhile since I said that! My name is Laura and I worked at the Redondo Beach Study Hut for three years after I graduated college. Not to get all emotional and cheesy, but it is kind of crazy to think that if I never worked at Study Hut, I probably would not be chasing my dreams while living in Europe today.

 

Like many fresh college graduates, I finished undergrad without a clear plan, which can be really intimidating when it seems like everyone around you does. I majored in History and minored in English, so I was toying between the stereotypical projected careers for those majors: do I go to law school or do I become a teacher? While debating these two options, working at Study Hut almost fell into my lap as I was recommended by a good friend who worked there.  To be honest, I went into the job thinking I would only work there for a couple months, but ended up falling in love with tutoring and “Hut Life” culture, and ended up rising to second in command as the assistant manager. Study Hut’s work environment that somehow blends being laid-back with working hard was the perfect fit for my personality, and honestly that “energy” is something I have yet to find anywhere else.

 

Study Hut truly is a job where the more you put in, the more you get back. When I was first hired, I was cautioned that it might be difficult for me to keep a full working schedule since I could not tutor high level math and science courses, which are obviously the most requested appointments. However, after just a couple months, I became consistently one of the most booked tutors because I was able to cultivate such positive relationships with my students. The “team” dynamic you build with your students becomes something you look forward to every week, and their victories to an extent feel like yours. Over time, seeing that “Aha!” moment when you help your student finally understand a concept that has been troubling him or her for weeks becomes something you look forward to. Watching your students succeed on any level, whether it’s an A on a test or getting into their dream colleges, is a level of job satisfaction that is hard to describe if you have not personally experienced it.

 

After about a 18 months of tutoring, I began pursuing my teaching credential, which was surprisingly easy to balance with Study Hut’s flexible hours. To be completely honest, I used every excuse I could to delay earning my credential because I loved working at Study Hut so much and did not feel ready to settle into a permanent teaching career at a nearby high school. I also knew that Study Hut’s great relationships with local schools and my participation in tutoring AVID in the Palos Verdes school district would be extremely helpful when my permanent teaching job search began. Long story short, I got such cold feet about starting a local teaching career that I started thinking about other options…really really far away options.

 

With love and encouragement from my Study Hut boss/bff Justin, I chased after one of my life-long dreams to work abroad and applied to a program to teach English in Budapest, Hungary. In a matter of weeks, I landed a job teaching at one of the best high schools in Budapest and was on a one-way flight before I really had time to reconsider.

 

I taught in Budapest for two years and fell in love with my new life, career, and city. Along the way, I was also able to travel to places in Europe I never imagined I would be able to visit, including cities I did not even know existed. Since international moves and career changes are now apparently my thing, I recently moved to Warsaw, Poland to accept a job working in marketing for a tech company that produces fitness club management software. This new job is definitely outside of my comfort zone compared to tutoring and teaching, but I am learning so much and finding new ways to utilize the English skills I taught my former students every day. I have no idea if this is going to be my permanent career or city, but I do know that I’m happy figuring it out one day at a time as I’m making this new country my home.

 

In retrospect, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to finish my application to teach in Hungary if Justin had not been my cheerleader along the way. I will never forget how supportive all of Study Hut’s management team was about my decision to leave, which definitely speaks to the culture of how Study Hut treats its employees. As a tutor, Study Hut will bend over backwards to help you grow within the company, but if and when your career pivots in a new direction, you will receive the same degree of unwavering support.

 

Working at Study Hut gave me so much than exposing me to my love and natural talent for teaching: it taught me how to work in a collaborative environment, how to multitask between my managerial and tutoring responsibilities, and how to channel my creative side in a business setting. Even when my schedule was stacked with back-to-back appointments of ACT Tutoring and College Application writing, I still genuinely loved going to work every day. Apart from seeing work as “fun,” I developed great friendships with colleagues and students alike, many of whom I still keep in contact with all the way from Poland.

 

So if you’re looking for the perfect post graduate job while you figure the rest of your life out, don’t sleep on Study Hut. Also, Justin, if this whole Poland thing doesn’t work out plz give me my job back.

December Newsletter

November 15th, 2018

MBMS Study Skills

August 22nd, 2018

Are you interested in signing up for MBMS Study Skills afters school program?

MBMS Study Skills sign-ups are already underway for the 2018-2019 school year.  For the 4th consecutive year, Study Hut Tutoring and the MBMS PTA have partnered to deliver 3 -1hr sessions, after school in room 109.  The sessions are separated by grade level.  Each grade level meets from 3-4pm for three consecutive weeks on the same day each week.  Below you will find the 8th, 7th grade flier, and the 6th grade flier, respectively.

MBMS Study skills 8thMBMS Study Skills 7th MBMS Study Skills 6th

To sign up for the 2018-2019 MBMS Study Skills program, you can go to studyhut.com/mbmsstudyskills or call (310)546-2408 or email studyskills@studyhut.com

You’ll notice that the sessions are non-transferable and non-refundable with no-makeups.  Sign-ups for the MBMS Study Skills program are on a first come first serve basis, and space is limited to 30 students per grade level.

Based on the popularity of the program in previous years, it is strongly advised that parents sign up quickly to reserve their spot.  The price is $125 and includes all materials.  The group program is led by one of the owners of Study Hut Tutoring, on campus, in room 109 at the Manhattan Beach Middle School.  Topics will include the big picture, which includes goal setting, class expectations, and a school timeline.  We will also cover how to effectively track and record homework, tests, quizzes and due dates in the daily planner.  Moreover, we will dive into how to create an effective 5 day study plan for each of the core academic classes.

The keys to developing effective study skills go beyond tools and tasks.  It is important that the student is not only persistent but also adapts to feedback from educators that are trying to help.   A big part of developing effective study skills is to block out times on the days leading up to an exam or a quiz.  Brain science has told us a lot about the power of bite size nuggets of information sprinkled in each day, with good nights of sleep in between.  For more information, please call Study Hut for a free consultation–there is no obligation to sign up–we want to clue people in with respect to the most effective methods to execute your student’s specific goals.  After all, this process is both highly personal, individualized, and tailored based on a number of unique factors.

April 24th, 2018

April 24th, 2018

April 24th, 2018

Center Street School STEM Fair

April 9th, 2018

This past Wednesday, March 28, 2018, was the annual Center Street School STEM fair in El Segundo. During the science fair children of all ages had the wonderful opportunity to be able to reap the benefits of the magnificent world of science.

 

Science is an ever evolving subject and I believe when it is incorporated in schools in a fun way, students are more willing to learn. As a fresh out of college biology fanatic I decided to volunteer at the Center Street School STEM fair with Study Hut in order to teach young children about the world of STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, and as someone who has enjoyed learning in a college setting where laboratory classes are crucial, I believe that using the hands on approach is one of the best ways for young children to learn. The Center Street School STEM Fair had many different stations where future scientists could create mini science projects. My team and I took over the physics section of the Center Street School STEM fair and taught the elementary students how to create mini electrical circuits. These electrical circuits were created using dark graphite pencils, a porous piece of paper, a 9 V or 3 V battery as well as light bulbs, which contained positive and negative electrodes. Elementary students had to draw on the paper two tracks. These tracks could be squiggly lines, straight lines or even their own crazy designs. But they needed to ensure that they never touched on either end… just got really close so that the battery could connect to one end and the light bulb could connect on the other. Many of the children were able to light their lightbulb on the first try! The joy that these children had when the light bulb lit up was inexplicable. These children started screaming from excitement and clapping their hands! One girl even jumped up and started doing a little dance when her light bulb glowed blue. The Center Street School STEM Fair was a wonderful experience for myself and the rest of the volunteers. All children should have the ability to explore the different subjects that call for their hearts and, and the Center Street School STEM Fair is an excellent opportunity for young curious minds to explore the boundless world of STEM education.

Newport Beach Spanish Tutor

February 28th, 2016

Need a good Newport Beach Spanish Tutor?

Spanish class can be tough and overwhelming for many students.  Between vocabulary, grammar, writing, speaking, and listening there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time.  Study Hut Newport Beach is here to help!  We offer experienced tutors who are knowledgeable in all of these areas and know what to exactly what to expect.

Why Study Hut?

Our Spanish tutors here at Study Hut Newport Beach are trained to target a student’s strengths and weaknesses and provide personalized help.  Our tutors can provide extra support and insight with learning and study strategies specifically geared toward the student’s subject and learning style. We are experienced in breaking down complex content into simple building blocks needed for learning a language.  We provide one on one tutoring so that that our staff can cater to your student’s individual needs.  We offer Spanish tutoring from Spanish 1 all the way to AP Spanish.  We have Newport Beach Spanish tutors who know the curriculum and know how to help students meet their goals.

How many sessions do you recommend?

We see the most success with our Newport Beach students who come in on a weekly basis.  While a review session before the big test can help, we see more success with students who are consistently working with a tutor each week.  Spanish can be tricky, and like any language, practice makes progress.  The more time a student can get with a tutor on a regular basis, the more likely they will reach their desired goals.    Consistency is KEY when it comes to Spanish tutoring.

How do I get started?

Give us a call or send us an email!  We will pair you up with a tutor that fits your student’s needs.  We have a fantastic staff of tutors who are ready to help!

Corona del Mar APUSH Tutor Tips

January 21st, 2016

AP Classes are no joke. They come with a heavy work load, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are some Corona del Mar APUSH tutor tips to keep you afloat!

Quick 1-2-3 Tips

I have my quick 1-2-3 that I usually go after first (any Corona Del Mar APUSH tutor worth a nickel should be able to give you these tips…):

1) Make a list of all grades lower than an 85%

2) Attack the lowest grades first:
-Make chapter outline
-Take practice quizzes/online tests on that material
-Take section review/chapter review tests from book or study guides

3) Make flashcards on all missed questions from review quizzing (each card needs 5 bullet points on the back hitting these three areas: a) definition b) historical significance c) political, social, economic implications

Corona del Mar APUSH Tutor Tips

General Corona del Mar APUSH Tutor Tips

Overall there should be some major units to review that the teacher hammers (and really what the College Board/AP test likes to drill). Understanding the major pillars from each unit, and re-reading the study guides and ANNOTATING as you read, will help to keep the major points at the top of your mind.

Know the major players from each unit, what their contributions were, and how they made lasting changes (why we are learning about them.)

In terms of execution of the plan, make a checklist with everything that you will study, and allocate a specific number of minutes to each portion of the checklist. That way you can assign a date/time to the task to ensure it gets done (and you can plan your life so you aren’t cramming like crazy).

We've been doing APUSH since before you were born!

Still feel like you’re drowning? Call Study Hut today or fill out a contact form to the right. Our expert tutors can give you the tools and knowledge you need to prepare for chapter tests and the big, bad AP!