Bridging the Gap Between Students and MAP

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Bridging the Gap Between Students and MAP

By Mikayla Owens, Staff

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It’s a known fact that Zionsville Community Schools never do the “norm.” Whether it be the creation of the partial year-round school calendar, to the experiment of the 1.0-4.0 middle school grading system, or the coexistence of regular seven-period days and block days, Zionsville loves to make us all nod our heads and say, “really?”

The most common complaint about ZCHS’s new take on scheduling is MAP (Mentor Access Period). Rather than a smaller study hall, it is a time designated to allow students to express any concerns they may have about academics and to get close to a teacher over the course of the school year.

“I didn’t really know what MAP was at first, but then I heard it was talking about your feelings, which I wasn’t totally interested in doing,” Madeline Myers, junior, said.

Lucy Wopshall, sophomore, does not like the idea of having her MAP teacher be a personal counselor throughout the year.

“I have a counselor for a reason and the [MAP] teacher has so many things to do with their students. They shouldn’t have to be a counselor on top,” Wopshall said.

Could this be why MAP isn’t resonating well with students?

“I can understand how some students might feel some stress talking to their individual MAP teachers with academic problems they are having, but one of the main goals of map is to really get to know your mentor. That’s going to be someone you are going to be going to every week for the entire year,” counselor Steve Polivka said.

While discussing academic and/or social burdens with a MAP teacher can be daunting for most, MAP teachers are meant to be there for each student and their issues.

“Map teachers are facilitating certain lessons that are designed to develop a mentor/mentee bond. Hopefully this will enable students to be comfortable with saying ‘Hey, if I have this problem, I know I can go to this teacher and talk about what I’m struggling with,” Polivka said.

Polivka make it clear that adjusting to MAP is not going to be an overnight occurrence. It is going to take time and for the students to allow themselves to adjust at their own pace.

MAP was created to be a safe space for all students of ZCHS. No matter how drastic the problem may be, Mentor Access Period is there for the students’ wellbeing.

“I encourage students to make use of MAP and know that it is a safe environment. That trust and feeling of comfort and acceptance will grow throughout the year,” Polivka said.

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